Selecting the Television show Breaking Bad was questionable in that the two protagonists Walter White and Jessie Pinkmen are anglo however, the plot of this television series revolves around the production and distribution of methamphetamines and the involvement with the drugs trafficking cartels. The connection between the drug cartels and Latin characters whoms roles were comprised of drug lords, wholesalers, distributors and petty dealers of crystal meth or methamphetamines is the focus of my review or critic.
The Breaking Bad series focus on violence, murders, theft, and crime involved with the drug tracking business which focuses on the Latin roles depicted in this series. These roles also portray the Latin community as disconnected to empathy, integrity or morals.
Executive producers Vince Gilligan, Mark Johnson and Michelle Maxwell MacLaren’s, story of a Walter White, a chemist whose health and economic struggles force him into a life of crime that connects him to a network of Hispanic drug traffickers and drug lords is somewhat of a twist. It is not usual to see whites connected to drug in film and television, however Walter White’s association with Latino drug cartels is the cannon that the film industry and media focuses on. We also see how most of the violence and crime is associated to the Hispanic roles in this television series. Additionally, the depiction of the bad guy is often portrayed by a dark skin individual who fits the stereotypical evil entity, while the lighter skinned actors are seen
Actors such as Danny Trejo are often casted for their frightening outward appearance and are used as the stereotypical criminal. Trejo’s character Tortuga in this television series is killed for his involvement in the drug trafficking business. Likewise, the characters of Tuco, Marco and Leonel Salamanca, played by actors Raymon Cruz, Luis and Daniel Moscada, whose outward appearance serve as the stereotypical Latin criminals, who are also killed for their involvement with the drug trafficking business. These three characters are depicted as the run of the mill cold-hearted killers, were as actor Jessie Pinkman played by actor Aaron Paul, is seen as having a mental breakdown after he kills another white character in the show. By doing so we see how the producers of the series place both racial groups in the same predicament but make the Latino seem cold and heartless. While depicting the white character as remorseful or having a conscience, this just enforces the tropes of Latinos being savages and violent.
However, the character of Gus Frank, played by Giancarlo Esposito, is questionable because his outward appearance is of a law-abiding citizen. Gus’s character is shockingly disturbing in how he is the drug kingpin, but his is not of the stereotypical Hispanic bad guy. Therefore the portrayal of Gus as both drug lord and restaurant owner who donates to the Drug enforcement Agencies (DEA) fund, leaves the impression that even the average Latino is corrupted by both being a drug lord and giving to the DEA’s children’s fund. Gus Franks character uses the following lines “I hide in plain sight” which makes him an untrustworthy individual. This raises suspicion about the Latino community in how a Latino business owner cannot be economically successful without the involvement of some wrongdoing.
These Images are ingrained subconsciously in the mind of the viewer via, cultural programming that has stablish a tendency to use the Latino population in film and television as scapegoats and as the villain.