Animal associations

KBS Suspends ‘King of Tears, Lee Bang-won’ Following Animal Abuse Outcry

Animal rights organizations including the Korea Association for the Protection of Animals have come together to criticize the KBS series ‘The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won,’ which protests animal abuse in production , at the KBS headquarters in Yeouido, western Seoul, on Friday. (Yonhap)

Public broadcaster KBS has announced a two-week hiatus from its historical epic drama series ‘The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won’ amid allegations of animal abuse.

The tangled drama broadcast program was replaced by the global news program “World Report” and the talk show “Let’s Jeongchi 2”, which were originally scheduled after “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won”, respectively. Saturday and Sunday.

“Due to the ongoing controversy, the two episodes that were scheduled to air on Saturday and Sunday will be canceled,” a KBS official said Friday. “Special episodes prepared for the upcoming Seollal holiday will also not be aired.”

Online criticism began to mount on Wednesday when a video clip released by the Korea Animal Welfare Association surfaced showing a horse intentionally tripped over a rope as it ran, hitting it head first in the ground. The clip showed the horse struggling to get up afterwards.

Although KBS apologized for the accident, which later proved fatal, public outrage over the drama series did not wane. Two online petitions posted on Cheong Wa Dae’s website demanded a halt to production of the series and called for specific measures on animal safety in film and television productions. They had respectively collected more than 60,000 and 120,000 signatures by Sunday morning.

Poster image of “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won” (left) and a screenshot of the online petition on the Cheong Wa Dae website (KBS/Cheong Wa Dae)

“I can’t believe that public broadcaster KBS, run by viewer fees, didn’t have specific measures or policies for animal safety,” the petition read, adding that the use of Pets as props was a reported issue. out of the past.

A screenshot shows the problematic scene with the horse from the seventh episode of the period drama

A screenshot shows the problematic scene with the horse from the seventh episode of the period drama “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won.” (KBS)

The streaming service for the seventh episode of “The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won,” which featured the problematic falling off the horse scene, is no longer available on the series’ official website.

While the episode is still available via the Wavve streaming platform, the scene in question has been removed.

By Lee Si-jin ([email protected])