LOS ANGELES - A faux funeral for beloved "Breaking Bad" meth kingpin Walter White raised almost $17,000 for charity on Saturday night - but not without stirring controversy, reports Albuquerque television station KOB.
The ceremony, which included a procession led by a hearse and White's RV/meth lab, benefited the Albuquerque charity Healthcare for the Homeless, as fans of the AMC series - which aired its series finale in September - paid to toss dirt onto an empty coffin that was placed in a gravesite complete with headstone.
Charitable as it was, the fundraiser didn't sit well with some, who felt that it was disrespectful.
Manuel Montano, whose son was laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Park, where the ceremony took place, expressed his displeasure with the event.
"My son is buried about 15 yards from where the makeshift gravesite is," Montano told the station. "This is a place of mourning. It's not a spectacle."
Meanwhile, a petition has surfaced online, hoping to get Sunset Memorial Park to remove the Walter White grave, claiming that it will turn the graveyard into a tourist attraction.
"Locations where 'Breaking Bad' filmed in Albuquerque have become tourist traps now that the show has ended. Walter White's home draws up to 10,000 cars full of fans a month, according to the homeowner," the petition reads. "Adding a physical gravesite will encourage tourists to visit a sacred burial site of hundreds and hundreds of loved ones.
"Cemetery officials say if crowds start gathering at the grave site of Walter White, they'll consider getting rid of his headstone," it continues. "But 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."
Those who wish to donate to Healthcare for the Homeless without drawing the ire of protesters can do so at http://walterwhitefuneral.weebly.com/.