The news: Some people weren't too happy with Toys 'R' Us selling action figures from Breaking Bad, the acclaimed television series about a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin. But after complaints and a campaign by Florida mothers prompted the retailer to pull the toys from shelves, it's the stars of the show who are far from pleased.
Bryan Cranston already humorously expressed his two cents about Florida mom Susan Schrivjer's petition against the toys earlier this week, but while notorious Heisenberg might have been first to say something, it looks like Aaron Paul — who played Jesse Pinkman on the series — has some stronger thoughts:
While Cranston's response poked fun at the controversy, Paul actually makes a few nuanced points that reveals the inconsistency in what concerned parents deem "child-appropriate" toys. The action figures might come complete with tiny guns and meth, but you know what's just as dangerous? This:
The terror! On the surface, combustibles and drugs look more damaging than some dressed-up dolls. But Barbie helps create unrealistic body images for young girls. Subconsciously, she's teaching what girls "should" look like, complete with bodily proportions that are physically impossible unless a surgeon gets involved. Barbie is just as dangerous as any meth head, because if anything she gets into childrens' heads.
Paul's second tweet about video games is a little less subtle. Studies have shown that violent video games have played a part in making youngsters more aggressive, but they continue to line the shelves at toy stores.
Although two wrongs don't make a right in terms of various toys being detrimental to children, the Breaking Bad star's tweets help question why rather innocuous toys based on the acclaimed television show were taken off of shelves when many other violent and troubling products, both explicit and implicit, exist in the world of kid's entertainment. If the public is going to criticize the Breaking Bad action figures, it better take a closer look at some of the other toys available to children.