The Australian streaming service Stan will open a pop-up restaurant called Los Pollos Hermanos in Sydney this week to promote the latest season of the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. Giancarlo Esposito, who plays the restaurant’s owner - drug lord Gus Fring - in both shows, will attend the event. Fring uses Los Pollos as a front for his criminal activities and a money laundering operation. The pop-up restaurant has previously opened in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. This marketing stunt turns the promotion of a TV show built around a savage reality - the consumption of narcotics in the US and the cartel wars in Mexico - into a pop culture event. [...] Yet since the shows began in 2008, their producers have done little in the plotlines to acknowledge the human tragedy being experienced in Mexico. For the past 40 years, it and other countries such as Colombia have suffered the deathly effects of the drug trade, including mass murder, corruption at all levels of government and a general sense of unease in the population. When Mexicans and other people of colour appear in these shows they are exclusively shown as “bad hombres” whose activities corrupt virtuous Anglo characters such as Walter White, a chemistry teacher who becomes an amphetamines producer.
“Why Glamorising Narco Culture, on Screen and in Sydney’s Pop-up Shop, Is Wrong”, César Albarrán Torres, The Conversation, 2017.
Giancarlo Esposito promoting his show restaurant, 2017