KBS unveils new animal safety guidelines after death of horse
KBS announced Thursday a new set of production guidelines on animal safety while filming.
This comes after intense controversy over allegations of animal abuse during the filming of historical drama series “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won” (2021-22) in January.
The show, which halted airing since Jan. 22, will return with a new episode on Feb. 26.
“We apologize again for causing an unfortunate incident while shooting for ‘The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won,’” KBS said in a statement. “We take complete responsibility for it.”
The production guidelines that KBS revealed regarding animals that will be used for filming include the following: recognition of the animals’ status, making sure actors are fully aware of the animal protection laws, allowing actors to ride horses only after sufficient training, keeping an animal supervisor on set, periodically keeping track of the animal’s condition and immediately taking health care measures if problems arise.
For scenes that are bound to cause stress to animals or put them in physical danger, the scene will be filmed using computer graphics instead “as much as possible.”
The guidelines have classified animals according to species.
“We will be strict in abiding by these guidelines,” KBS said. “We will cooperate with the government and related animal protection organizations to improve awareness about animal welfare and establish a safe filming environment for animals.”
A scene from episode 7 of the show showed a horse tumbling to the ground head first. When animal rights organizations voiced concerns online about the health of the horse, KBS revealed that the horse had died one week after shooting. The episode was removed from the broadcaster’s video-on-demand service and other streaming platforms. The series has 10 more episodes still to air.
Starring actors Joo Sang-wook and Kim Young-chul, "The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won" revolves around the story of Korea's King Taejong, played by Joo, who helps his father overthrow the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and establish the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [email@example.com]