Albuquerque played host to a fake funeral for "Breaking Bad" character Walter White on Saturday, raising almost $17,000 for the local charity Healthcare for the Homeless. Approximately 200 mourners bought tickets to pay their last respects to Bryan Cranston's iconic character, according to the Albuquerque Journal, with "Breaking Bad" set designer Michael Flowers delivering the eulogy.
But the public service at Sunset Memorial Park still drew controversy, per local TV station KOB. Families with loved ones buried at the cemetery seemingly have concerns that the gravesite -- complete with a headstone immortalizing the ill-fated character -- will attract too many tourists.
“My son is buried about 15 yards from where the makeshift gravesite is,” Manuel Montano told KOB. “This is a place of mourning. It’s not a spectacle.”
A petition has been started to have the grave removed from Sunset Memorial, noting that the house that was used as the exterior of Walter White's home on "Breaking Bad" already receives "10,000 cars full of fans a month, according to the homeowner."
While cemetery officials have reportedly promised to remove the headstone if it starts attracting crowds of fans, the petition wants to preempt that response: 'The 'officials' should not put the family members through such disrespect during the process of deciding whether or not too many people are visiting the makeshift grave," it notes.
UPDATE, Oct. 23: The Walter White headstone has been removed. Instead of the cemetery, THR reports the headstone and burial vault will be kept at the Village Shops at Los Ranchos, the home of Vernon's Steakhouse.
The memorial hit another roadblock on Saturday after a planned livestream was blocked by "Breaking Bad" production studio Sony for copyright reasons. The organizers had planned to use the livestream of the service to drum up more donations for Healthcare for the Homeless, but thousands of people were apparently left unable to watch the feed.
Albuquerque has taken the end of "Breaking Bad" very seriously, with the Journal previously running an obituary for Walter White after the show ended.
Do you think Walter White's grave should be removed, or should Albuquerque embrace the chance to attract more tourists?