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Joo Sang Wook Reveals What He Felt When ‘The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won’ Was Shut Down Due to Animal Abuse Allegations

The King of Tears Lee Bang Won
Credit: HB Entertainment

In an interview following the conclusion of The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won, Joo Sang Wook shared how feels responsible for what had happened in the show as its lead actor.

The popular KBS drama ran up against difficulties this January. The drama came heavily under fire for animal abuse when a horse got killed during its filming. The incident occurred when the cast and crew were shooting the scene where Lee Seong Gye (played by Kim Yeong Cheol) fell off a horse in episode 7. The scene, where a horse was pulled to the ground using a rope tied around its legs, was aired without any editing, and the horse died a week after it was used in the filming. Shortly after the broadcast, the Korean Animal Welfare Association (KAWA) issued a statement and attached a clip of the tragic incident. They said, “We condemn animal cruelty shown in KBS’ The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won.”

KBS apologized, and the drama was able to resume six weeks after the incident. The actor revealed that he was extremely agitated during the drama’s suspension. He shared, “It has been a difficult year for KBS period dramas. The incident, which happened when the drama was right at its peak, definitely hurt the show’s popularity. But as the series slowly regained its popularity after resuming its broadcast, I was so grateful to fans for their unwavering support.”

The star added, “I could not relax while the drama was on halt. On top of that, I had tested positive for COVID-19 around that time. January was the worst month of this year for me. I went through a very rough patch.” He commented, “To my knowledge, the drama was on the verge of getting completely canceled. Though it was not 100 percent my fault, I felt obliged to take responsibility for the drama’s issues.”

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