Republicans in New Mexico Are Furious Over ‘Breaking Bad’ Statues: ‘We’re Glorifying Meth Makers’

The decision to erect two statues of “Breaking Bad” characters Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico is causing an uproar among some of the state’s Republican figures. The statues were unveiled July 30 at a ceremony attended by Cranston, Paul, “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan and Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller.

Gilligan said at the statues’ unveiling that honoring “two fictional, infamous meth dealers” wouldn’t be celebrated by everyone in New Mexico, adding, “In all seriousness, no doubt some folks are going to say, ‘Wow, just what our city needed.’ And I get that. I see two of the finest actors America has ever produced. I see them, in character, as two larger-than-life tragic figures, cautionary tales.”

Video: Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould on the upcoming 'Breaking Bad' season

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It turns out Gilligan was right. Albuquerque-based conservative talk radio host Eddy Aragon and Republican state representative Rod Montoya are two public figures condemning the 500-pound statues.

“I’m glad New Mexico got the business, but really?” Montoya recently told Fox News. “We’re going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?”

“It’s not the type of recognition we want for the city of Albuquerque, or for our state,” Aragon added, noting that “what you saw on ‘Breaking Bad’ should be a documentary, honestly. I think, really, that is the reality in New Mexico. We try to say it’s fictional, but that is the reality… we’ve joked that [‘Breaking Bad’] should be on PBS. That is, unfortunately, the reality.”

Aragon blasted the state for erecting “Breaking Bad” statues after it decided to take down a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, who was the first Spanish governor of New Mexico.

“Now we have brand-new statues,” Aragon said. “Now we’re putting fictional characters out in front. We have Jesse Pinkman and, of course, Heisenberg, and we have now erected statues and our progressive mayor from the city of Albuquerque has stood behind them. We’re funding those, so it’s OK to go get rid of real historical figures and now, somehow it’s even better, to [have] fictional, drug-dealing figures.”

Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller said that it was appropriate to erect “Breaking Bad” statues given the positive economic impact the show has had on the city over the years. He added, “While the stories might be fictional… jobs are real every single day. The city is also a character… We see ourselves in so many ways, good and bad.”

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