It was almost 16 years ago that Roy Horn of the incredible magic duo Siegfried & Roy was bitten by a tiger during their show in Las Vegas. It was a black day for magic and us particularly. We loved their show and thought they were always gracious with fans — like us.
Now the two are sitting down with ABC to discuss what happened: their understanding and apparently ABC’s understanding of the event.
ABC’s press release celebrating their 42nd season of the 20/20 show is filled with verbs like “attacked” “nearly killed by a tiger” and others indicating their belief that Roy and Siegfried are wrong in their understanding of the injury.
The conversation will, according to ABC, “address the career-ending tiger attack and recent allegations that the accident resulted from Horn’s own onstage mistake, which the pair denies; they maintain that the tiger was trying to help Roy after he suffered a stroke.”
On the positive side, the 2 hour special will also look at their long career and “the legacy of their Las Vegas residency.”
But the draw for ABC is apparently the injury:
In the exclusive trailer for the special, above, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts asks Fischbacher about the new claims made by one of their former animal trainers, who says Horn was to blame for the incident. “No way,” Fischbacher says. “If I would have to do it again, I would do everything again the same way. I regret nothing,” he later tells Roberts.
We wonder — and we’re not being critical of ABC or those who revisit that horrible night — when the story can be left to the memory of the two men who were physically present when Mantacore either helped save Roy’s life or attacked him. Why does it matter that there is a controversy over the cause? What will it change? Even Mantacore, who Roy sought to protect with his last breaths by saying to the crew that it was not his fault, has passed away.
The show will also feature interviews with the stagehand who helped to save Roy on stage, the producer Kenneth Feld; and other Las Vegas magicians Criss Angel, Lance Burton, and Penn & Teller.
The 20/20 season premiere airs Friday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.