KBS Drama Animal Abuse Scandal: What Went Wrong and the Public’s Outcry (2022)
After a fatal KBS Drama animal abuse incident involving a horse featured in the dramatic KBS historical drama “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won,” viewers have held the broadcaster responsible. The scandal has inflated conversations around proper animal abuse prevention regulations in the television industry and the obligation of networks (like KBS) to protect the safety of the animals that appear in their programs.
Featured Image: Screenshot “The King of Tears: Lee Bang-won” (KBS)
- KBS Drama Animal Abuse Scandal Explained
- Filming, Injuries, and Outcry
- The Public’s Response
- KBS responds with new Animal Welfare Guidelines
- Long-term effects of the KBS Drama Animal Abuse Scandal
- Other Recent Headlines
KBS Drama Animal Abuse Scandal Explained
Filming, Injuries, and Outcry
The scene in question featured a stunt actor and a horse. During filming, the production crew intentionally tripped the animal, which caused the horse’s upper body to hit the ground and its neck to bend at an almost 90-degree angle.
According to the KBS production team, the horse immediately got up on its own and did not appear to be injured. However, a video released by the Korean Animal Welfare Association shows the animal struggling to stand and recover after the scene.
A week following the filming, the horse in question passed away, leading shocked viewers to boycott the series and organize online petitions to halt the production and airing of the program in protest.
Furthermore, the stunt actor acting alongside the horse also sustained injuries after being flung into the air.
The Public’s Response
After the two top petitions together gained nearly 200,000 signatures and national attention, KBS paused the airing of the historical program from the 22nd of January. As a result, the broadcaster did not release their Seollal special scheduled for the Chinese New Year holiday season.
After the video by the Korean Animal Welfare Association went viral, several top actors, like Ko So-young, Bae Da-Hae, and Kim Hyo-jin, have joined viewers in voicing their shock and anger with the abuse of the horse and the overall attitude of the Korean television industry in regards to the handling of animals.
“I hope animal abuse disappears (…) Please sign the petition so that the fundamental problems of animal cruelty in the media can be resolved through this incident.”Bae Da-Hea
“This is horrible. The stunt actor was injured and the horse ended up dying, (…) I hope that the actor recovers soon. Animals on filming sets are not props, they are live animals.”Kim Hyo-jin
In Seoul, various animal rights organization members have organized protests at the KBS headquarters in Yeouido. The protesters publicly criticized the animal abuse with posters displaying the horse’s tragic fall.
KBS responds with new Animal Welfare Guidelines
In response to the public’s outrage, KBS TV announced on the 9th of February that the network is to adopt brand new animal welfare guidelines.
The strict new rules include using computer graphics as much as possible for animal stunts and requiring an animal protection supervisor and veterinarian during the filming, amongst other stipulations outlined in the new policies.
“We will do our best to improve the awareness of animal welfare throughout the video production industry and present an environment that allows for the safe filming of animals”KBS
Long-term effects of the KBS Drama Animal Abuse Scandal
The scandal has shed light on the lack of regulation in the television industry’s animals and filming safety and the potentially fatal outcome for the unprotected animals.
As the airing of “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won” resumes on the 26th of February, viewers have called for the implementation of new filming rules to prevent animal abuse within the television industry.
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