Horse tripped while filming Korean drama stunt sparks outcry

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The horse fell while filming the costume drama “King of Tears Lee Bang-won” on Nov. 2, Korea Broadcasting Corporation (KBS) said in a statement on Thursday.

The stunt required an actor on horseback to fall, and the production team had “prepared and checked … in case of an accident,” the statement said.

“Despite these efforts, an accident occurred in which the actor fell from the horse and the upper body of the horse hit the ground,” the statement said, adding that the horse died about a week after filming.

“We cannot help but feel a deep sense of responsibility for the unfortunate incident,” the statement said. “We once again apologize to the audience for failing to prevent the accident in advance.”

In a video posted to the Korea Animal Welfare Association (KAWA) Instagram page on Thursday, an actor in traditional clothing can be seen riding a black horse with a rope tied to one of its hind legs.

The video shows the horse first falling to the ground and the actor flying into the air as the rope gets tighter. The horse can then be seen kicking its hind legs while the head is still.

In a statement Thursday, KAWA criticized the production crew for allegedly failing to check the horse’s condition after it fell.

“After filming was over, the crew ran to check on the actors who fell to the ground,” KAWA said. “But no one checked the condition of the horse.”

Public outrage is mounting on social media.

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“They didn’t even think the horse would get hurt. The neck was completely twisted and too violent. I don’t watch the show,” one person wrote below KAWA’s Instagram post.

Another vowed not to watch the show again, adding that they were “really disappointed” by the “animal cruelty situation”.

South Korea has laws against animal cruelty, but human rights groups have long lobbied for stricter enforcement of those laws.

Citing figures released by the lawmaker’s office, Reuters reported that there were 914 animal cruelty cases in 2019, compared with 69 in 2010.

Injuring animals for the purpose of gambling, advertising, entertainment or entertainment is illegal in the country and carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

On Thursday, KAWA launched a petition urging the government to impose stricter animal safety laws on movie sets and had received nearly 80,000 signatures as of Friday afternoon local time.

KAWA said it will work with KBS to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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