Narcos, one of Netflix’s flagship original series, has caused quite the ‘uproar’ in Madrid, Spain. Early December, the streaming service’s advertising team placed a massive poster in one of the city’s busiest locations, the Puerta del Sol public square. The advert features the actor who plays the show’s main antagonist, Pablo Escobar, alongside the tag line, “Oh, Blanca Navidad,” which translates to “Oh, white Christmas.” The slogan for the season is a clear play on word’s, considering the nature of Escobar’s cocaine dealings, but what has the public up in arms, is the fact that Netflix’s persuasive advertising, is essentially glorifying a man, who has had a very negative impact on the region.
Many of the city’s residents have taken their resentments to social media, calling out the show’s leading character as a “killer, drug dealer, and terrorist.” Furthermore, much of the distain stems from not only the exaltation of such a savage individual, but the placement of the banner as well. Instagram user @lamadredediego posted that, “. . . thousands of families come to the capital to enjoy the bridge, the Christmas lighting and what you will find is a photo.” That horrible photo elevates one of history’s most notorious criminals.
But while some think that television’s glorification of history’s monsters serve only to ruin society, the controversial advert was not completely shunned by Madrid residents. Many local citizens have applauded the poster and have recommended the show to those who have yet to witness it. Despite Madrid’s divided nature over the prominently placed announcement, the billboard remained intact for the holidays.