As of this writing, the online petition to remove Breaking Bad character Walter White's makeshift grave from Sunset Memorial Park in Albuquerque has over 900 signatures. Some local residents were already upset over a fake funeral for Walt that took place last Saturday, but now that there's a permanent memorial at the graveyard, people are officially outraged.
I have to admit, when I first heard about this controversy, I thought it was a little silly. Why would anyone get that worked up over a little fun for the most dedicated Breaking Bad fans, especially when the "service" raised almost $17,000 for Albuquerque's Healthcare for the Homeless organization? But now that I've read what residents are saying about the fake gravesite, I can absolutely see where they're coming from.
Around 200 people attended the fundraising event/fake funeral, which included a procession led by a hearse and the infamous Breaking Bad RV. Fans could pay money to attend and even throw dirt onto an empty coffin, which was laid to rest in a real grave site with a headstone.
(By the way, if you've managed to make it this long without hearing that Walt dies in the Breaking Bad finale, um ... sorry. Spoiler alert?)
The problem is that some folks aren't happy about putting a fake grave for a television character in a real cemetery. As one man put it,
My son is buried about 15 yards from where the makeshift grave site is. This is a place of mourning. It's not a spectacle.
The petition includes many other comments protesting the decision:
This idea of a character being buried among the resting souls of loved ones is absolutely disrespectful.
Sad that we can't bury our loved ones there due to not having enough money but they can have a fake burial there.
Please do not put a fake grave in your cemetery. Many people believe the land where they bury their loved one is sacred.
I like Breaking Bad as much as the next person, but that is our family and friends resting place and shouldn't be taken lightly.
I agree with the folks saying this was a tasteless move. It would be one thing if Walt's "grave" was in a public place meant for tourists, but placing it in a real burial ground just isn't right. I can't even imagine what it would be like to visit your child's grave and see a bunch of geeked-out Breaking Bad fans nearby paying their respects to a television character. Plus, the commenter who can't afford to bury their own family there? Ugh, heartbreaking.
According to officials at Sunset Memorial Park, they'll remove the memorial only if it becomes an attraction:
We are a cemetery first and foremost. Our allegiance lies with our families that have allowed us to bury their loved ones here.
If that's true, why wait? Remove it now, out of respect for those very same families.
What do you think about this story? Do you think the grave should go?
Image via AMC