On December 26, a crew member of “Hwayugi” was belatedly revealed to have been severely injured while working on set.
The accident itself occurred early morning on December 23, the same day “Hwayugi” premiered. According to earlier reports, the crew member was working to hang a chandelier from the ceiling at the request of a producer, when he fell from a height of over 3 meters (approximately 9.84 feet), breaking his spine and hip bone. His pelvis was reported to have hit the ground first, then his head, upon which he began to show symptoms of cerebral hemorrhaging.
Based on one source’s account, the crew member was unconscious as he was being taken to the emergency room, and may be paralyzed from the waist down. The initial professional opinion was that the crew member “could also become brain dead,” but his mental capacity has returned to the point he is able to recognize his wife, children, and other family members. The crew member’s family is reported to be preparing to sue the producer who requested for him to work on the set at early hours.
The crew member is a member of the artistic team from MBC Art, a subsidiary of MBC, and is currently acting as one of the set managers under a service contract with JS Pictures, the production company of “Hwayugi.”
“Hwayugi” aired as planned on December 23, and reportedly, the production company JS Pictures as well as tvN were initially quiet about the accident.
“Hwayugi” also experienced problems during its December 24 broadcast, which belatedly seem to may have been partially due to the accident on set. Reportedly, a different source from the drama commented, “Do you believe that filming or post-production could go on normally when someone has been severely injured on set? The broadcasting accident that happened in episode 2 was a given.”
tvN apologized to the family, and explained their course of action in the following statement:
“We would first like to apologize to the family members who are hurting due to this unfortunate accident, and are sorry to deliver [this news] to everyone who has shown interest in ‘Hwayugi’
“We recognized the magnitude of the ‘Hwayugi’ crew member’s accident from its onset, and have been regularly discussing with the crew member’s family in regards to his continuing treatments.
“Since the accident that occurred while the crew member was preparing for the following day’s shoot, at around 2 a.m. KST on December 23, an executive producer was with the crew member in the ambulance as well as during the first stages of treatment. We have continuously been in mutual contact with [the family].
“Moving forward, his family members have delegated his agency MBC Art to handle matters regarding the accident. The production company JS Pictures and MBC Art will be meeting to discuss tomorrow [December 27 KST].
“Sincerely hoping that he will recover as soon as he can, the producers of ‘Hwayugi’ and tvN are carefully keeping watch over his progress. We will do our absolute best while handling matters regarding this accident after the fact. We will be more careful and make every effort to make sure an accident does not occur again on set.”