Bryan Cranston Offers Measured Take on MAGA Racism — Before Being Asked About Stuffing Fruit Down His Pants
Bryan Cranston offered a thoughtful and considered take on how we should teach American history and why Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan could be construed as racist — before joking about on-set pranks and putting fruit down his pants in a truly great moment of broadcast journalism whiplash.
Cranston sat down for an interview on CNN with Chris Wallace, during which Wallace asked the actor about a recent back-and-forth he’d had with Bill Maher about critical race theory and “wokeness.” To Cranston’s credit, he avoided falling into the kind of culture war flame-throwing these terms usually signify and got to the heart of the matter — how we teach and discuss America’s past.
Cranston argued that America should look at its history “much the same, I think, that Germany has looked at their history and involvement in the wars, [World War] I and II, and embrace it. Say, ‘This is where we went wrong. This is how it went wrong.’”
The actor then tied the issue at hand to Trump’s MAGA slogan, saying, “Do you accept that that be construed as a racist remark? And most people, a lot of people, go, ‘How could that be racist? Make America Great Again?’ I say, ‘Just ask yourself, from an African-American experience, when was it ever great in America?’ … So, if you’re making it great again, it’s not including then.”
The interview then took a sharp left. With Wallace angling to end the chat on a lighter note, he asked Cranston about some comments his Breaking Bad co-stars have made about him, such as, he’s “a child trapped in a man’s body,” and that “they’ve never known anyone who found it so amusing to stuff fruit down his pants.”
Cranston, not missing a beat, put on a slightly indignant air as he quipped, “You know, that kind of rumor is what makes me smile.” The actor then tried to avoid the real question at hand, saying only that, yes, he did have a penchant for doing “something silly, or borderline stupid” to lift the spirits of the cast and crew, especially during a long day of work.
But Wallace, dogged journalist that he is, refused to let up and pressed Cranston, demanding to know the stupidest fruit he’s ever put down his pants. At last, the actor relented, cracking, “Well, I don’t know if you can call it stupid, but blueberries, perhaps. Because they keep falling down!”