[Content Warning/Trigger Warning]
The Korea Animal Welfare Association (KAWA) raised issues with animal cruelty during the filming of the drama 'The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won' and released footage of the stunt accident that caused a stunt horse to die.
On January 20, the KAWA released a statement and video footage of the accident that occurred while filming a scene in the drama. The association explained through their official Instagram page, "The Korean Animal Welfare Association raised allegations of animal abuse while filming a scene in the KBS drama 'The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won.' In this regard, we have secured a video from the filming of the drama."
They continued to explain, "As we feared, when they were filming, the horse was severely knocked to the ground. We confirmed that the horse's hind legs were tied to a wire, which was pulled with much force while the horse was running, causing the horse to fall in a dangerous way. Both the horse and the actor were at risk of being severely injured."
According to the video, staff members were seen running to aid and check on the condition of the actor, but no one was seen running to check if the horse was okay. Therefore, the association heavily criticized the carelessness of the staff members to the helpless animal.
The horse flipped in the air and landed on its neck when it hit the ground. The horse then is seen lying motionless while the staff runs to the actor. The Korea Welfare Association continued to express how appalled they were and explained, "We cannot help but be appalled that the Korean public broadcast company is filming in this manner in the year 2022. This is an incident that clearly reveals the issue of animal cruelty at the filming sites, which is an issue that has been continuously raised over the years."
The association explained they had requested KBS to reveal the current condition of the horse. KAWA explained, "This morning, we formally asked KBS to confirm the horses' condition - whether it survived and is safe, and we requested an interview about the measures they will prepare to ensure the safety of animals while filming in the future."
A few hours later, KAWA gave an update revealing that the horse in the video had died a few days after the accident. KAWA explained they received a reply from KBS and the broadcast company explained that the horse had died due to complications from the injury during the filming.
KBS stated, "Through this accident, KBS has confirmed that there is a problem with the method of filming the horse. We will find ways so this method of filming will not be used in the future. We will try to find a way to ensure the safety of animals at various filming locations through the advice and cooperation of related organizations and experts."
In fact, after the episode showing the falling of the horse aired, many netizens took to the KBS viewers' bulletin board inquiring about the horse's safety. Netizens asked, "I saw the horse fall really bad in episode. Isis the horse alive?" "There is no way that horse can fall that way unless they forced it to fall that way," and "What happened to the horse that filmed on that day?"
With the updates from the Korea Animal Welfare Association, many netizens have become furious and enraged as they learned that the horse had died. Netizens left various comments on articles about the horse expressing their anger. Netizens commented, "I'm going to stop watching the drama 'The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won. I can't stand people torturing animals for selfish reasons such as people's amusements," "I knew the horse would have been really hurt. This is clearly animal abuse," "They could have easily used computer graphics. These people are mentally ill," "This is disgusting," "This is my first time leaving a comment on an article. But this is outrageous. My heart is hurting just thinking about the horse. It's giving me goosebumps thinking about how cruel the production team and director is towards an innocent animal," "They didn't even check the condition of the horse, these bastards" and "It's making me sick thinking about how these people treated that poor horse."