Image shows horse on its back legs rearing in front of spectators The stunt is being branded 'willful cruelty' but a mammoth animal rights campaigning group - Media Credit: Dinodia Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

Korean TV Show Under Fire Following Fatal Horse Stunt


3 Minutes Read

A Korean production company has come under fire after a horse died in a stunt on the set of period drama The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won.

The scene in question, which aired on January 1, features a character who accidentally falls from his horse — the animal died a week after filming the sequence.

Animal rights campaigners across the country are in uproar — branding it “animal abuse.”

KBS1, the broadcasting network that screens the series, claimed there were no apparent injuries to the horse at the time of shooting.

This latest incident from the film and TV industry comes just months after Netflix was pressed to cut a scene from a new series after a whistleblower discovered that a pig had been shot and killed for it.

Horror over tragic incident on set

Following the incident, KBS1 issued a statement. 

According to The Korea Herald, it read: “We feel deeply responsible and apologize for the accident that occurred during filming.

“During filming, the actor fell far from the horse and the horse’s upper body hit the ground hard.”

After the stunt, the horse reportedly got up and displayed no visible signs of injury.

The shocking incident was shared on social media

However, according to the Korean Animal Welfare Association (KAWA), the horse was tied up and “purposefully” tripped. It’s alleged that the production team performed the stunt in a “dangerous manner” and that the actor was also in danger of suffering significant injuries.

‘Willful cruelty’

PETA director Elisa Allen told PBN that the horse was formerly subjected to racing.

She added: “This horse broke his neck after his legs were tied with rope and he was intentionally tripped to create a dramatic fall scene. 

“The show’s producers must face not only the court of public opinion but also a court of law, because this is willful cruelty. 

“There is no excuse for using animals as ‘unpaid talent’ and risking their lives for the sake of a television series. 

“Computer-generated imagery has made the exploitation of animals on-screen obsolete. And any production still using animals will soon find itself canceled.”

PETA Asia is now calling for a ban on horse tripping. Following the fatal horse stunt on The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won set, the organization is writing to film producers and government officials to strong-arm urgent action.

Thousands allege animal abuse

A petition was quickly launched calling KBS1 out for alleged abuse. 

“I cannot believe that the public broadcaster KBS run by viewers’ license fees did not have specific measures or policies for the safety of the animals,” it exclaimed.

Images from ‘The King of Tears Lee Bang-won’ set surfaced online

The petition, held on Cheong Wa Dae, has so far garnered more than 120,000 signatures, The Korea Herald adds.

As a result of the controversy, KBS1 released another statement. And, put the screening of The King of Tears, Lee Bang-won on hold. 

“The two episodes scheduled to air this Saturday and Sunday will be canceled,” an official confirmed.

This latest incident from the film and TC industry comes just months after Netflix was pressed to cut a scene from a new series after a whistleblower discovered that a pig had been shot and killed for it.

Millions around the world trust Plant Based News for content about navigating our changing planet & our role in it.

Our independent team of journalists and experts are committed to making an impact through a wide range of content—and you can help by supporting our work today.


The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

More by Emily Baker iconography/arrow-right


Leave a Comment

Plant Based News Comment Policy

In short:- If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. Please read our Comment policy before commenting.

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 days ago

I used to watch a lot of Korean dramas on Netflix and I’m not Korean, but every time they shoot a series depicting the Joseon era I noticed that when they used horses a lot of them did get hurt from whatever the production put them through just to excite their audiences . Guess what? That’s BS and it’s cruel, use CG. I can’t believe that Netflix is allowing these shows to go through with so much animal cruelty into play. Horrible!!!!! Posted 9/2022

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x