VTV apologizes for broadcasting live turtle beheading

MasterChef Vietnam and national television channel VTV are in hot water this week after accidentally showing the violent beheading of a turtle during the program’s Saturday broadcast. Before millions of viewers nationwide, contestant Khanh Phuong was caught on camera chopping the animal’s head clean off during a challenge which required MasterChef competitors to prepare a meal using either a live turtle or fish.

“We are responsible for that mistake,” admitted Lai Van Sam, head of the Sports, Entertainment and Business desk at VTV3. “Sometimes, [we have to] watch too many programs a day and only inattention [causes us to] miss such scenes. [We] stood there stupefied after [it was] broadcast.”

Following Saturday’s program, angry viewers took to social media to express their outrage, with some swearing off the show for good. “What happens if my little son sees the beheading scene and thinks it’s okay to pick up a knife, and cut off the head of his little dog, or any other living things?” wrote one viewer on her Facebook account. Khanh Phuong has since expressed embarassment over the manner in which she beheaded the turtle, describing it as “very cruel,” however MasterChef judge Tuan Hai disagrees with the public disapproval, insisting that these images were relevant to the story. “Dealing with live animals involves situations that every cook must overcome. Watching such scenes, viewers can find out more about the candidate’s character.”