Dustin Hoffman laments loss of Luck, blames PETA
Story by Jack Foley
DUSTIN Hoffman has broken his silence about the cancellation of his TV series Luck, blaming a collaboration between PETA and TMZ for its early demise.
The high-profile show, executive produced by David Milch and Michael Mann, was a critical darling but was shut down midway through the production of its second season following the death of three horses on set.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were hugely critical of working practices on the show and accused its producers of not taking proper care of their horses.
But in an interview with Fox News, while promoting his directorial debut Quartet, Hoffman spoke of his heartbreak upon hearing the show had been axed.
And he went on to blame PETA and the tabloid website TMZ for spreading misconceptions about the treatment of the horses.
He said: “If you Google ‘Paulick Report,’ it’s a site for horse racing, and in that report is the real reason why the show was canceled. It was a collaboration between PETA and TMZ.
“It’s interesting, sites like TMZ, they’re mistaken for news. We did [the 1976 movie] All The President’s Men, and you had to have two sources – and they don’t need any sources. They’re gossip. But the general public believes what they say.
“It still deeply wounds me. Not for myself, not for the show, but the pain they caused 400 crew people to have. And I don’t think they lost a moment’s sleep. It’s completely distorted. Anyone who raises horses knows they break their legs. The accusations they made were distorted. Every time we’d race the horses, we’d rest them. They’d race 20 seconds, then we’d rest them for an hour.”
Both TMZ and PETA have since responded to Hoffman’s remarks.
The former defended its reports by noting: “Truth is, the TMZ stories are in sync with what was reported on the Paulick Report.”
While PETA said in a statement: “Dustin Hoffman must have a really cold streak running through his heart, as he isn’t hesitant to disrespect whistleblowers and animals to advance his agenda.
“PETA wrote to him on two separate occasions urging him to use his position to help improve welfare conditions for the horses on the set of Luck after we were contacted by a dozen whistleblowers who were part of his production.
“Had he taken PETA’s warnings seriously instead of ignoring them, the life of the third horse could have been spared, the show might still be on the air, and his crew might still have their jobs.”
HBO has declined to comment up to this point.