AceShowbiz - Statues for "Breaking Bad" characters Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) were erected at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico on July 29 and it's now at the center of a new political debate. The decision reportedly sparked criticisms from some of the state's Republican figures.
Series creator Vince Gilligan previously admitted that not everyone would be a fan of the statues which honored "two fictional, infamous meth dealers." At a ceremony to unveil the figures which was attended by Cranston, Paul, Gilligan and Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller, he said, "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," he added.
Gilligan's prediction was right as Albuquerque-based conservative talk radio host Eddy Aragon and Republican state representative Rod Montoya are among public figures who condemned the 500-pound statues. "I'm glad New Mexico got the business, but really?" Montoya said to Fox News. "We're going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?"
Aragon added, "It's not the type of recognition we want for the city of Albuquerque, or for our state." He continued, "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."
The radio host also criticized the fact that a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, who was the first Spanish governor of New Mexico, was taken down for erecting the "Breaking Bad" statues. "Now we have brand-new statues. 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," he opined. "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."
Meanwhile, Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller argued that it was only right for the state 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."