Did The ‘Breaking Bad’ Superbowl Ad Push It A Little Too Far?
‘Breaking Bad’ is an extremely popular show so what I'm about to say isn't going to be what people want to hear but I'm going to say it anyway.
First of all I love actor Bryan Cranston and I loved watching him play this character, I do have an appreciation for his work. He's such a likeable guy that he somehow made this teacher-turned-meth dealer into a folklore hero of sorts. For most people we can watch "Breaking Bad" and realize that it's only a TV show. For others, like the younger crowd generally, they seem to think he's cool and somehow justified in his actions, and that scares me a little.
Case in point, the "Breaking Bad" action figures that are intended for adults, but still seem to glorify a guy who's providing meth to the general public and adding to what has become one of societies greatest obstacles. Now last night during the Superbowl Esurance used the Walter White character in a commercial that was more of a tribute to his character than a true warning about fraud.
Methamphetamine use costs us billions every year and it is often considered the most debilitating drug. While all addiction is serious, meth seems to destroy a persons mind and body and makes it very hard to for them to return to a normal life. If you think you're seeing more unspeakable crime on the news, you're probably right, and meth is often involved as this report from Treatment Solutions suggests.
My personal knowledge of meth comes mostly from doing a weekly one hour radio show with Sheriff Jeff. J. Dawsy in Citrus County Florida. To hear the stories about meth that don't even make it in the news will give you nightmares. It was the biggest contributor to crime in his county, and you would most likely hear the same from law enforcement across the county. Texas is certainly not immune to the meth problem as this report suggests, as rural areas are often seen as the highest areas of production.
So back to my point about the commercial. While I did find it clever, once again it seemed to glorify a guy who chose a path of cooking meth and selling it to the public. Yes, he's a fictional character, I get that, but for some people who are easily influenced or naive or even a user I think this pushes it a little too far. I don't think "Breaking Bad" has any moral responsibility, but on the other hand, when is enough is enough? When are we going to treat drug use as a societal plague versus a source of entertainment.