12:47 pm - 07/05/2019

Korean actress charged in Thailand for catching giant clams

A South Korean actress has been charged in Thailand with catching endangered giant clams while participating in a reality TV show and could face up to four years in prison if found guilty, an official said Friday.

Actress Lee Yeol-eum cheered as she caught the three giant shellfish in a Thai national marine park in March on the survival TV show "The Law of the Jungle." Participants in the show then ate the clams in an episode that aired on June 30.

Narong Kongeiad, chief of Hat Chao Mai National Park, said he filed police charges against Lee on Wednesday for violating wildlife laws by hunting the giant clams. The charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,300).

"The one who must be responsible is the actress who caught the shellfish because she directly violated the law," he said. "Others who were involved with the incident could also be charged as well."

"The Law of the Jungle" has aired since 2011 and places South Korean celebrities in groups that are sent out to test their survival skills in remote locations.

Seoul Broadcasting System, the show's producer, issued a statement Friday saying it "deeply apologizes" for filming the episode without a thorough understanding of local regulations, and said it would be more careful in the future.

However, Narong said the producers had been informed of the regulations.

"Sea resources in Hat Chao Mai cannot be caught, hunted or cooked, and the cast and crew were fully aware of that because the park firmly informed them of the park's restrictions before they began filming," Narong said.

The incident has triggered an angry reaction among internet users, especially among South Koreans, who have called for the show to be canceled.

The marine park is in the southern Thai province of Trang, 420 miles (670 kilometers) south of Bangkok.

source: The Korea Times
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peachypearl 5th-Jul-2019 07:51 pm (UTC)
The only person who should be blamed is the person who told them to dive for those creatures. She likely only did that because she was told. After all the crew had the cooking equipment ready?

They shouldn’t let her go down for this. It’s the responsibility of the production team to make sure that activities are legal, especially concerning laws that are specific per country/location.
evilcoc0nut 5th-Jul-2019 08:26 pm (UTC)
From what I see, the people running the show are 100% responsible for this. It's their job to find out the laws. I'm sure she or any other person on the show would just do what they were told.
iglooaustralia 5th-Jul-2019 09:09 pm (UTC)
mte, it's not like people have general knowledge that giant clams are an endangered species. she went on the show totally unaware and the show makers should foot the bill.
juhli 5th-Jul-2019 08:38 pm (UTC)
from what i know, they usually have local guides with them who pretty much guide them in all things, so either one of the guides messed up or they didn't have one with them when they shot this particular scene.
lizanka23 5th-Jul-2019 09:40 pm (UTC)
it says in the article though that they were informed by park officials not to catch or eat anything from the sea but they still did it anyway. that's disrespectful to the local people tbh and also leads to problems with the ecosystem
honeebs 5th-Jul-2019 09:34 pm (UTC)
Ok clearly the tv show, network producers are to blame.
Not her, give her and the producer, PD for the episode a fine to be donated to wildlife and the network a BIGGER fine for goverement law breaking.

daynr 5th-Jul-2019 09:44 pm (UTC)
So dumb, and so reckless, the producers had to kind of decide they didn't care about the environmental laws and I think that's terrible.
lizanka23 5th-Jul-2019 09:47 pm (UTC)
i thought they went to actual remote places to film this show but knowing they just go to national parks where they are told not to eat any local animals, which is commonly restricted in national parks, just seems disrespectful to the nature around them and the local people. just film some nature show showing off the local plants and animals and then stay the night at a hotel instead of pretending to survive in an "exotic" location that's so ~weird and different~ from korea. i can see why netizens want this show cancelled

Edited at 2019-07-05 09:50 pm (UTC)
jaequeeragenda 5th-Jul-2019 10:49 pm (UTC)
major yikesss
modestgoddess79 6th-Jul-2019 12:05 am (UTC)
It seems like the producers ignored the local regulations. They eat seafood on every episode so if they found out it was not permitted there than they should’ve never gone there. I hope they can just pay a fine and the actress can avoid jail time. I’ve seen them eat giant clams on many episodes, now I’m wondering how many laws they broke.

Edited at 2019-07-06 12:08 am (UTC)
tungatunga 7th-Jul-2019 09:02 am (UTC)
There are Thai fan on twitter that explain situation further, it seems like they knew they breaking the law, because they informed park authorities that the shoot is cancelled that day, because of weather and then sneaked into restricted area to film that part, which if true is major yikes. But it's not first time that SK film crew acted shady while filming abroad.
krissasaur 6th-Jul-2019 01:35 am (UTC)
Shouldn't the broadcasting director be charged? And not her? She just ignorantly followed orders and I don't think she or the cast should be punished.
tungatunga 6th-Jul-2019 07:17 pm (UTC)
Ignorantia juris non excusat ( ignorance of law excuses no one) it's common legal principle since Roman times, and almost universally acknowledged.
kimbafierce 6th-Jul-2019 02:35 am (UTC)
That excuse is so insulting tbh.. They always travel with a local guide who tells them what to eat, to suddenly say they didn't know is a pathetic attempt to play ignorance.

I hope they're hit with a huge ass fine that shuts their dumb show down.

Edited at 2019-07-06 03:25 am (UTC)
kcaomei 6th-Jul-2019 03:33 am (UTC)
pathetic excuse. she's clearly not the one responsible, but whoever is better be charged so hard they'll never even think about disrespecting nature again. they should also make a huge wildlife donation and cancel this mess once and for all
jyusou 6th-Jul-2019 04:51 am (UTC)
As a Thai just...ugh. UGH.
pseudo_shigure 6th-Jul-2019 05:25 am (UTC)
ugh just cancel this show already. i cannot with them making people starve for days while doing hard physical work. and with them always cutting down trees to make "shelter" they barely use.
921227 6th-Jul-2019 05:46 am (UTC)
How does ignorance make her not responsible? While the show staff in charge should be responsible as well, she's not absolved of any wrong doing just because she didn't know -- that's not how crime works
swhyeon1991 6th-Jul-2019 05:55 am (UTC)
Actually, you're right... Yeah it just sucks all over.
swhyeon1991 6th-Jul-2019 05:53 am (UTC)
YIKES also why is she the only one charged (though really it should be the production team)? Are you saying she's the only one who "caught" things in the episode lol? But anyway why would anyone do that if they know they're in a damn national park lol if they KNOW that is. Are they going to make the casts eat rhinos in Borneo national parks too??

I just looked up the casts and H*nbin and RV Yeri were there too lol this would be really interesting.

Edited at 2019-07-06 06:03 am (UTC)
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