A Breaking Bad Influence: Prosecutor Says It ‘Normalizes’ Meth

Breaking Bad is an incredibly popular show on AMC and indeed, more than a few Inquisitr writers are pretty much obsessed with it. What makes Breaking Bad a great show probably depends on who you ask (and how it ends), but it’s pretty hard not to see what creator Vince Gilligan is trying to say with his magnum opus.

Actions have consequences.

That’s precisely the point being made by Blake Ewing in a column for Ricochet.com. Ewing is an assistant district attorney near Austin, and while Gilligan seems to be saying that Walter White’s actions will yield negative consequences, Ewing argues that Breaking Bad will yield the same in the real world by “normalizing” meth use.

“I work as a felony prosecutor in a town where methamphetamine is our biggest narcotics problem,” Ewing writes. “I’m also a big fan of Breaking Bad, but whenever I ask colleagues (particularly law-enforcement officers) whether they’ve been following the show, I invariably get the same answer: ‘Absolutely not. I refuse to watch any show that glorifies that lifestyle.’ “

He says that he used to argue with his colleagues about the show, pointing out that it doesn’t glorify meth use any more than Schindler’s List glorifies Nazism, but lately he’s started thinking that by making meth seem “normal,” the show might indeed be dangerous.

“While Breaking Bad may not glorify meth in the sense of making it attractive to the average viewer, it does normalize the idea of meth for a broad segment of society that might otherwise have no knowledge of that dark and dangerous world,” he writes.

Still, Ewing is, and continues to be, a fan of the show. He says that the story is “compelling” and “on balance, highly moral,” but admits that he’ll have “misgivings” about Breaking Bad as it approaches its finale.

“I’ll continue to wonder about the long-term effects of mainstreaming such a dangerous drug into popular culture. I’ll be mindful that there are others for whom the consequences of drug addiction are a miserable and persistent reality, not merely the stuff of a TV drama, no matter how ‘gritty’ and artful and captivating.”

Do you think that Breaking Bad normalizes meth?