'Breaking Bad' statues in New Mexico have sparked backlash from 2 local Republicans: We're 'glorifying meth makers'

breaking bad statues
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul with statues of their "Breaking Bad" characters.Sam Wasson/Getty Images
  • Statues of "Breaking Bad" characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were recently erected in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • Two local Republican figures, state official Rod Montoya and radio host Eddy Aragon, criticized the statues.

  • Montoya told Fox News he worried "We're going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers."

Statues were recently erected in Albuquerque, New Mexico honoring "Breaking Bad" characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, who were played by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, respectively. The show was shot and took place in the city.

But some local conservative figures have criticized the statues, which went up on July 30.

"I'm glad New Mexico got the business, but really?" Republican state representative Rod Montoya told Fox News. "We're going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?"

Eddy Aragon, a local conservative radio host of "The Rock of Talk," likened "Breaking Bad" — which follows White building a meth empire after he's diagnosed with terminal cancer — to a "documentary."

"It's not the type of recognition we want for the city of Albuquerque, or for our state," Aragon told Fox News. "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."

Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller's office defended the statues by noting the economic impact "Breaking Bad" had on the city.

"The positive impact that the cast and crew of 'Breaking Bad' have had on our economy and film industry can't be minimized," the mayor's office said in a statement to Fox News. "The franchise has had over $385 million in economic impact, lifting up countless local businesses."

"Breaking Bad" did help raise tourism awareness for Albuquerque. In 2018, five years after the show had ended, a Vanity Fair feature noted that tours of filming locations were still being given to fans around the city in an RV styled after the one used in the show. The owners of the house that served as Walter White's home in the series had built a fence around the property to discourage fans, the story said.

Ann Lerner, then the head of the City of Albuquerque Film Office, told Vanity Fair that "around the country, people can spell Albuquerque now."

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