Following last week’s postponement of episode 3 and the announcement that the next two episodes would be airing this week, the “Hwayugi” broadcast schedule is up in the air once again, with pending investigations by the police and the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL). Depending on the results of the MOEL investigation, “Hwayugi” filming may even be suspended.
January 2, a source from “Hwayugi” said, “This week’s broadcast of ‘Hwayugi’ has not yet been confirmed. The decision will be made following the police investigation to take place on January 3, so everyone is currently on standby.”
Previously, the National Union of Mediaworkers released a statement regarding their inspections of the “Hwayugi” set following the accident that occurred on December 23.
According to the union, following the accident, the drama production had been continuing to film, having carried out no action or preventative safety measures. “First, though the part of the ceiling that fell as the accident happened has been repaired, there are places where the wood supporting the ceiling has parted. Rather than rebuilding or reinforcing the set, they are continuing to film with patchwork repairs, leaving open the possibility for a second accident or injury to a staff member or actor.” The statement also addressed various other issues, such as dark, narrow walkways, and cable, planks, and other materials strewn about on the floor, making the set a safety hazard in case of an accident or fire.
After the release of the statement, MBC Art submitted an official complaint to police regarding negligence resulting in injury and possible threats or coercion in the workplace.
A source from the police said on January 2, “The complaint has been processed, and we are preparing for investigation. January 3, we will be speaking with witnesses. Because the degree of the victim’s injury is severe, that will be the focus of our investigation.” The source added that the police investigation has no bearing on whether or not the drama will be prohibited from filming: “Resumption or suspension of drama filming is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL).”
The MOEL will be carrying out their additional investigations today and tomorrow, after which they will make a decision about whether to allow continued filming on the “Hwayugi” set.