It was learned that TV personality Iyo Matsumoto suffered a compression fracture of her lumbar vertebrae and a serious injury that will require about three months of recovery when she fell into a pit prepared by the program side during a November 24 recording of the TBS variety show “Wolf Boy.
Matsumoto participated in a project called “Sokuochi” in the program. In this project, an answerer stands on a pit and tries to answer a quiz, and if the answer is incorrect, the floor opens and the answerer falls into the pit.
The hole was reportedly cushioned with a urethane sponge, but the accident happened.
TBS apologized to Matsumoto and said
We have done this project twice before, and this time we repeated simulations in advance and took safety measures such as placing a large amount of urethane to absorb the impact where the object would land. In order to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, we will further strengthen our safety management during the production of our programs.
The company released a comment saying, “We are very sorry for this incident.
The program may have intended to have performers of various age groups, but in the case of a fall from a height, there is a possibility of back injury or, if the person does not have muscle strength, a hard blow to the jaw with the knee. This time, they were dropped if they answered incorrectly in the quiz, but if it was a surprise, it would be even more dangerous because it was a surprise,” said a sports newspaper reporter.
It is not the first time that a celebrity has suffered a serious injury, such as a broken bone, in a variety show, and while the BPO warns against “painful laughter” to prevent bullying of young people, there is still a tendency to use flashy and dangerous performances with action in variety shows. However, it seems that variety shows still favor risky performances that involve flashy action.
Unfortunately, the use of surprise stunts, such as harming a celebrity or dropping a person in a pit, is very flashy, and it is very easy to create the “tension and relaxation” that is the ironclad rule of comedy. Moreover, the “by-products” of laughter, such as people who are not involved falling into the pit or people who are trying to help falling into the pit, are also good for viewer ratings.
Pitfalls used to be the specialty of London Boots No. 1 and No. 2 and Tonneruzu, but nowadays they are widely used in all variety shows. In fact, there was a case in the past where a celebrity was dropped while running and hit his face on the opposite edge of the hole due to excessive momentum. The construction of the hole is expensive and risky, but the budgets are large for a prime-time show, so they still use it,” said a TV station official.
In the past, there have been horrific accidents involving pitfalls. In 2011, a newlywed couple was killed in Kahoku City, Ishikawa Prefecture.
The wife dug a huge pit 2.5 m deep on the beach at Osaki Beach with her friends as a surprise for her husband’s birthday, although it was not filmed for television. The wife then staged a fall into the hole with her husband, but the couple was buried in the sand and both suffocated to death.
It seems that the wife wanted to surprise and please her husband, but the news that the newlyweds, who were supposed to be building a happy family, never returned home was shocking,” said a person involved in a wide-ranging TV show.
“Pitfalls and surprises” – when you hear all this, you can’t help but feel that the general public was influenced by the variety shows. I think we need to be aware that we are broadcasting on the public airwaves, not just a cheap production that “just has to be funny”….
Photo： Kyodo News