Production company Studio Dragon has addressed further reports of poor working conditions on the set of upcoming tvN drama “Arthdal Chronicles.”
“Arthdal Chronicles” tells the stories of heroes in the mythical city of Arthdal.
On April 10, Hanbit Media Labor Rights Center and broadcasting staff union department of Hope Solidarity Labor Union held a press conference to voice concerns about the inadequate working conditions for staff members on the set of the drama and filed a letter of complaint. The conditions mentioned included working at most 151 hours and 30 minutes a week with no days off, as well as an injury of a staff member.
In response to the press conference, production company Studio Dragon responded with a statement saying that they have been participating in conversations with the broadcasting staff union department and working towards improving working conditions. They also reiterated their commitment to complying with the 68-hours-per-week production time.
A source from the Hope Solidarity Labor Union then claimed that the production company rejected the attendance of a member of the Hanbit Media Labor Rights Center at their discussions and insisted on a specific date and time due to allow for the participation of chief producer Kim Young Kyu. Although the staff requested guaranteed days off for art and makeup teams A and B, 12 hours of filming, meal times, industrial safety, and 68-hours-per-week production time, it is said that Studio Dragon shied away from taking responsibility for the arts and makeup team because they are not affiliated employees. The source also brought up long working hours and how the production company tried to track down the informant amongst the staff members.
On April 17, the production staff said, “‘Arthdal Chronicles’ is a drama of a difficult genre that’s being attempted for the first time in Korea, which is why we had to work with the best staff. We began filming with more staff members than a typical drama and the best wages that fit their skills.”
They continued, “We operated Teams A and B at the same time. On days with difficult schedules, we tried filming with Team A and B separately in the morning and night. Out of a total of 146 sessions and 30 weeks of filming until April 12, 68-hours-per-week production time took place, with the exception of one week of filming abroad.”
They added, “During the seven months, Team A was given 97 days of vacation and had 106 days of filming. Team B had 40 days of filming and 75 days of vacation.”
In addition, the production staff said, “We recommended rotating staff by teams. After late-night filming, we insisted on over eight hours of rest time and offered breaks and various measures. We feel regretful that we weren’t able to take meticulous care of the employees of businesses that worked hard along with us. We’ll definitely look for a plan of improvement.”
They continued, “Suspicions about tracking down the informant are completely untrue. We’re in a situation where we’re trying our best to find out the best way to improve the filming environment. As we’ve done until now, the staff and producers are negotiating and cooperating to film one scene at a time despite the difficult atmosphere.”
They concluded, “We will accept the criticism about the parts we lack in and promise that we’ll immediately and quickly take action on parts that need improvement.”
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