12:46 pm - 07/09/2019

"Law of the Jungle" faces backlash

3c311fc0aad1423a8467b5de580945d0.jpg


SBS' survival TV show "Law of the Jungle" has been facing a backlash from local viewers after media reports that actress Lee Yeol-eum was charged in Thailand for catching and eating endangered giant clams while shooting the show.

The controversy erupted days after the June 29 episode aired last week. The reality show featured actress Lee capturing the endangered giant clams and eating them with fellow cast members in Thailand's Hat Chao Mai National Park.

The episode went viral on Thai social media shortly after it aired, after catching the attention of some Thai viewers who called for authorities to take action over the violation of local laws.

The show has been one of the most popular reality shows since the first episode aired in 2011. Showing celebrities surviving in the wilderness abroad, "Law of the Jungle" grabbed viewers' attention from the start. With over 10 percent of viewership, it has been the highest-rated weekend reality show for the past few weeks. The viewership for the latest episode went down slightly, marking 8.9 percent.

Since the success of "Law of the Jungle," other broadcasters aired programs that were filmed overseas.

As competition heats up with other reality shows, the SBS show has been experiencing a decrease in ratings.

Shows taking place in different countries have been the trend for the past few years. After TvN's "Grandpas Over Flowers" became a big hit, the trend quickly accelerated, leading more shows to film abroad.

The show's star producer Na Young-seok explained that the sketch of a foreign environment and different cultures offer viewers with new experiences.

"Our cast members are unfamiliar with the foreign countries where the show is filmed, so chances are high that they encounter situations that they are not familiar with and thus interesting things happen there while shooting the show," he said.

Producer Yoo Ho-Jin of "Where On Earth?" which was shot in a remote desert in Oman, explained that shows filmed in the wilderness offer virtual adventures to the viewers watching in comfortable surroundings.

Heavy competition for viewership among reality shows sometimes pushes staff to go too far and violate local laws.

It became apparent that the production team's "mistake" was intentional when Thailand's local news outlet PBS revealed a formal letter, Sunday, signed by the show's head producer Cho Young-jae, agreeing to neither film nor present content about fishing. The letter was sent to Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports in March, prior to the filming.

The head of Hat Chao Mai National Park Narong Kongaid told AFP, Friday, that he had filed two charges against Lee for violating the National Parks law and the Wildlife Protection law.

If found guilty of these charges, the actress could face up to five years in jail under the National Parks law or four years under the Wildlife Protection law.

"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," said Narong.

The production team told multiple news outlets, Thursday, that they abided by the local authorities' guidelines and there were no illegal activities when filming.

However, the team soon issued another statement the next day and admitted the violation. It apologized saying that the mistake came from not having a thorough understanding of the regulations. "We will be more cautious when producing the show in the future," it said.

An online user started a petition on Cheong Wa Dae's website, defending the actress and calling for the production team to take responsibility for breaking the law.

"This wouldn't have happened if the local coordinators and production staff had informed the actress," wrote the user.

The angry reactions from Korean viewers continued and some even called for the network to cancel the show.

Yonhap reported Monday that the Thai police have started an investigation and will question the local coordinator who guided the production team.





source: The Korea Times
modestgoddess79 9th-Jul-2019 08:57 pm (UTC)
Thai authorities brought the receipts. The show should be canceled.
xoxkenzxox 9th-Jul-2019 09:01 pm (UTC)
It became apparent that the production team's "mistake" was intentional when Thailand's local news outlet PBS revealed a formal letter, Sunday, signed by the show's head producer Cho Young-jae, agreeing to neither film nor present content about fishing. The letter was sent to Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports in March, prior to the filming.

So....no excuse.
idlewilds3 9th-Jul-2019 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yep!!! So infuriating how they tried to play the innocent card then played the ignorant card of “we didn’t understand what the rules meant!” Like eff that shit! The gross hubris of not only blatantly ignore and disrespect the rules of another country but to think that you would not get caught when you’re literally filming and airing said criminal acts?!

nekokonneko 10th-Jul-2019 01:15 pm (UTC)
Right? To think the head producer had the neck to send a signed letter to the local authorities pledging to follow the law as he was scheduling when and how he would violate the rules and air it
froggster 9th-Jul-2019 09:20 pm (UTC)
that clam is at least 5-8 years btw. Those things grow slow af.
tungatunga 10th-Jul-2019 06:28 pm (UTC)
More like 50-60 yrs, 1 year old clam is the size of bottle cap.
froggster 10th-Jul-2019 06:55 pm (UTC)
Huh, maybe the perspective of the picture is skewing my perception of the size. I guess it's bigger than I thought.
kcaomei 9th-Jul-2019 09:30 pm (UTC)
they purposely broke the law, cancel the show
921227 9th-Jul-2019 09:36 pm (UTC)
The show should be cancelled. You can't go to another country and flagrantly break their laws just for viewership. I bet they've done similar things in past episodes that just haven't been found out.

Also //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//

So the actress would've known too. I wonder if she just didn't care or if the production staff managed to convince her it was okay
kimbafierce 10th-Jul-2019 04:29 am (UTC)
They probably were like "we've done it before, don't worry".
shuumi_miss 9th-Jul-2019 11:04 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry but, even in the absurd case they weren't told about the rules, isn't it common knowledge that you can't fish nor hunt nor nothing at national parks? Those are protected areas and the rules are basically the same all around the world.

I can't believe they thought they could get away with this untouched even when there is a signed formal letter, like ???.
topazera 9th-Jul-2019 11:58 pm (UTC)
I don't know how the liability works here but I do want them to focus on the production company and not the actress herself. This isn't a tourist coming and doing it, it's complicated by the fact that she was under contract to film the show and the producers were responsible for acquiring permission and understanding the legalities of filming. I’m not saying she’s blameless, especially when they’re saying the cast were briefed as well, but she was quite literally directed to do this. Whatever punishment she gets, the person who signed off on that letter but then went ahead with the segment as it was should be facing ten times worse.
lizanka23 10th-Jul-2019 02:13 am (UTC)
agreed. the production crew bears most of the responsibility. i hope they don't get off scott free and throw her under the bus because she is the hypervisible public figure

Edited at 2019-07-10 02:16 am (UTC)
topazera 10th-Jul-2019 02:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, same. It's ridiculous if they do have her take the fall for this. Honestly, I both think the cast would have been well aware what they were doing wasn't on the up-and-up but also they're in a tough spot because none of the talent wants to be the one to stand up and say something is wrong and get labeled as the "difficult" one by stopping the whole production from doing something illegal (which this likely wasn't the only instance of). They're not the ones with the power in that situation, that rests with the production team.
lizanka23 10th-Jul-2019 03:36 am (UTC)
definitely. the actors should be held responsible but the production team are even more responsible for what happened. i hope they just cancel this show at this point tbh. it seems like the production team would do anything to get ratings and celebs will just see the show as a risk to their reputation because who knows if they might end up doing something illegal
nadesico_chan 10th-Jul-2019 09:14 am (UTC)
She better lawyer up, it's totally unfair that sha had been manipulated to transgress the law unbeknowst to her. She will suffer huge damages , in terms of reputation and financial loss. She definitely has to sue them big time.
rainstormraider 10th-Jul-2019 01:47 am (UTC)
They have no excuse and they probably set it up for her since this show is scripted just like every other show out there. So they may be fully responsible for this mess and she the hapless one being blamed for it.

Cancel this mess.
lizanka23 10th-Jul-2019 02:15 am (UTC)
such a mess. and i can't believe they thought that they would get away with it by showing it on national TV. like it was commented above national parks animals are typically protected. it's not a place where you get to play pretend as the guy from Cast Away
kimbafierce 10th-Jul-2019 04:33 am (UTC)
Since the head producer signed an agreement that forbids them from hunting I hope he'd get the worst punishment out of everyone involved. But I also want everyone involved to be punished. Screw them all.

Also, cancel the show.
ostsiberia 10th-Jul-2019 06:52 am (UTC)
They should just say they were drunk at the time of filming and hunting the clams and that will clear them of any wrongdoing or responsibility
lydzi 10th-Jul-2019 12:08 pm (UTC)
Omg

Well played bb XD
modestgoddess79 10th-Jul-2019 03:03 pm (UTC)
drunk clam hunting and drunk when they signed the contract, totally not responsible for their behavior

Edited at 2019-07-10 03:03 pm (UTC)
gdithero 10th-Jul-2019 06:56 am (UTC)
the team soon issued another statement the next day and admitted the violation. It apologized saying that the mistake came from not having a thorough understanding of the regulations. "We will be more cautious when producing the show in the future," it said

lmao fuck off straight to jail. anyone whose lived in/close to literally any preserve has heard this excuse before. this isn't the first time foreigners thought local laws dont apply to them and/or tried to pull the language/culture barrier/miscommunication card to get away with it.
This page was loaded Sep 15th 2019, 4:27 pm GMT.