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HBO may have moved on from its ill-fated horse racing drama, Luck, months ago, but its star, Dustin Hoffman, is still disappointed that the show only lasted a few episodes. In a new interview, Hoffman blames PETA and TMZ for the show’s cancellation after three horses died.
Luck was canned nearly a year ago after the show floundered amidst controversy when horses used during production had died. PETA considered the show's cancellation a victory.
Fox News asked Hoffman about the show in an interview while he was promoting his directorial debut Quartet. He said he was “beyond disappointed” and “shocked” when he heard that the show was cancelled.
“My son and I had just finished a scene, we went to have lunch, and we got a phone call during lunch that HBO cancelled us,” he said. “I thought it meant we were not going for a third season. They said, ‘No, now.’ We didn’t even go back to work that day. Crew people had moved their families from other parts of the country.”
When asked for his side of the story, Hoffman suggested that people check out Paulick Report. “...In that report is the real reason why the show was cancelled,” the Oscar-winner explained to Fox. “It was a collaboration between PETA and TMZ. It’s interesting, sites like TMZ, they’re mistaken for news. We did 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.”
Hoffman suggested that PETA “were looking to get contributions. Somebody ought to do a movie about them.”
PETA sent a response to Entertainment Weekly, saying that the actor “must have a really cold streak running through his heart, as he isn’t hesitant to disrespect whistleblowers and animals to advance his agenda.”
The animal rights group continued, “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.”
Meanwhile, TMZ is standing by what it reported as well. They even say that they were as accurate as the Paulick Report.
Luck was produced by director Michael Mann and also starred Nick Nolte. Although the ratings weren’t great, the network had renewed it for a second season before cancelling it during season one.