KBS released a statement on January 20 to apologize to the public after a horse got injured and eventually died on the set of the ongoing historical drama, “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-Won.”
Viewers of the show raised their concerns to the Korean Animal Welfare Association (KAWA) about the possible animal abuse issue in one of the scenes of the series. The particular scene featured the character of actor King Young Chul named Lee Seong Gye, who was thrown from his horse while in transit. To shoot the scene, the horse was forced to drop on the ground using a rope tied all over the legs.
According to the statement, the network is taking full responsibility for the incident that took place on November 2 to shoot a scene that aired in the drama’s episode 7.
“It is very difficult to film a fall from a horse. The horse’s safety is fundamental, and we also have to consider the safety of the actor on the horse and the safety of the crew members filming the scene. Because of this, the production staff spent several days preparing for the scene in order to prevent any accidents from potentially occurring,” the statement said.
The network went on to report the accident involving the horse.
“Despite this preparation, during the actual filming, an accident occurred in which the actor was thrown hard from the horse and the horse’s upper body struck the ground with great force. After the accident, the horse got up under its own power, and we checked to see that it had no external injuries before returning it. However, as viewers recently began to express concern for the horse’s current condition, we checked the horse’s condition again, and we regret to say that the horse died about a week after the filming occurred.”
The network expressed its sincere apology to the viewers for causing the unfortunate event. They also promised to do extra measures to prevent such incidents to happen in the future.
“Through this accident, KBS recognizes that there is a problem with the way that scenes of falling from a horse are filmed. In order to prevent such an incident from occurring again, we will find another way to film and portray these scenes. We will also cooperate with the advice of experts on how filming of various kinds can be safely conducted with animals on set,” the network also added.
KBS airs “The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won” every Saturday and Sunday.