The beloved Korean YouTube channel SBS Animal, in partnership with one of the longest-running TV shows Animal Farm, uploaded a trailer on August 1…
… highlighting what hinted to be a story of Hodol the Jindo dog, who is “pretending to have a disability for attention.” Hodol’s owner said, “Hodol used to walk fine. It began one day out of the blue. He couldn’t use his hind legs anymore.”
As heartbreaking as that is, many viewers actually fell in love with Hodol’s cheekiness — with the trailer later showing Hodol being allegedly “caught in the act“. The trailer made it seem that Hodol got back on all fours, as soon as the dog trainer Lee Chan Jong showed up.
In fact, the hashtags included in the trailer’s title “#God-ChanJongMakesDogWithDisabilityWalkAgain” strongly suggested that Hodol doesn’t have any problems and is dragging himself around for attention.
Looking like one heck of an entertaining episode, viewers tuned in on August 2 when it aired. Unfortunately, the episode revealed that Hodol is indeed with a disability, with a neurological nerve disorder that prevents him from using his hind legs.
Plus, the trainer never appeared in the episode. As the episode ended with Animal Farm getting Hodol a pair of casts to help him put some weight on his hind legs and practice walking again…
… the viewers grew furious at the trailer. They found it problematic that SBS Animal “used an actual disability to get attention“, claiming that it is — in the very least — “disrespectful to the owner who has been struggling with Hodol’s condition for the past four years.”
- “You know, SBS Animal has been criticized for this kind of behavior before. I don’t know what kind of people they have making this show about animals.”
- “This is frustrating. I can tell SBS Animal gives no sh*t about animals with disabilities. I’m so disgusted I want to vomit.”
- “Watching the trailer, I thought this is going to be a lighthearted episode about a dog wanting more attention from his owner. I started watching, expecting to see the dog trainer help the owner get Hodol back on all fours. He never showed. And Hodol actually had disabilities. I’m f*cking baffled.”
- “I thought Hodol was a cutie for acting like he can’t walk… I’m literally heartbroken right now that he actually had a condition and really couldn’t walk.”
- “What the f*ck is this channel’s problem?”
- “I missed the actual episode… but I can’t hide my disappointment at Animal Farm for trying to get attention in such a low way.”
- “Can’t the owner sue or something… This needs to be corrected.”
The viewers even went back to the trailer and noticed that Lee Chan Jong is wearing winter clothes, concluding that the video editor decided to use his previous appearance on the show to create the trailer. Both the YouTube channel and the TV show are now facing a flood of agitated comments — requesting an explanation.
- “What is the reason you framed the trailer that way, when the episode as it is would have gotten the views you wanted anyway? And the way you captioned Hodol’s legs to “be on strike” when they are actually with a disability… Is that what you think when you see animals with disabilities? Editing Lee Chan Jong in was a dirty move too, tricking the viewers. I can’t understand why anyone would want to belittle Hodol’s owner and Hodol trying to find peace.”
- “It gives me the chills to think that people like you make a program for and about animals. To show a dog with disabilities like that? It’s abominable. If you don’t like animals, step down. Work for another show. It is because of people like you that animal rights are weakened. I’m so mad that you would rather make fun of animals than speak up for them. Apologize.”
- “I guess the YouTube fame got to your head, huh? Using other people’s broken hearts for clout?”
- “If Hodol had been human, you’d be facing a f*cking lawsuit, you know that? Why would anyone edit the trailer like that? You’re an animal channel, for f*ck’s sake. Why would you frame a dog with disabilities that way? I’m so disappointed. Views aren’t that important, you know.”
While the trailer has since been deleted, the channel’s other Hodol-related video continues to take heat from the frustrated viewers who are demanding an apology. SBS Animal briefly pinned an apology in the comments section, which has also been since deleted.
We sincerely apologize for editing the end of the trailer to be different from the actual episode. We will strive to be a team of animal lovers who think and act for the animals and the people who love animals. Again, we’re terribly sorry.
— SBS Animal Team
Watch the episode recap here: