The 'Luck' controversy continues; Hoffman, TMZ & PETA each weigh in

Luck title card


Dustin Hoffman has won Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards on two separate occasions, once for 'Kramer vs Kramer' and once for 'Rain Man.' The legendary actor is renowned for his roles in 'Tootsie,' 'Wag the Dog' and other Hollywood box office hits... but what's on his mind of late is the cancellation of his 2012 HBO series 'Luck.'

'Luck' was a drama about the world of professional horse racing which starred Hoffman, Dennis Farina ('Get Shorty,' 'Snatch'), and Nick Nolte ('The Good Thief,' 'The Thin Red Line'). The series was critically acclaimed for its in-depth look at every feature of horse racing and the art of handicapping (wherein experts determine odds of each horse's performances). Debuting a little over a year ago, 'Luck' was almost immediately renewed for a second season--that is, until accidents on set drew the attention and ire of TMZ and PETA. The series was subsequently pulled after a mere ten episodes.

While promoting his upcoming film 'Quartet,' Hoffman was asked his feelings on the 'Luck' situation.

"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. 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," said Hoffman. The actor continued to explain that he believes the cancellation of 'Luck' to be a "collaboration between PETA and TMZ," rather than a decision by HBO executives. Hoffman then cited a news article on the site Paulick Report which explored PETA's involvement in 'Luck's cancellation (originally posted two days after news broke that the series wouldn't be returning). The article accuses PETA members of lying and embellishing the truth regarding the sad deaths of three race horses over the course of 'Luck's production.

"Anyone who raises horses know they break their legs,” Hoffman continued. “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. I think they (PETA) were looking to get contributions. Somebody ought to do a movie about them."


Entertainment Weekly asked PETA for a response: "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."

When asked for comment, TMZ merely stated that they stand by their reporting, although they do not dispute the facts of the Paulick Report article.

Regardless of what side of this controversy you are on, no one is glad that three animals tragically lost their lives.

- Luck
- Dustin Hoffman

Written by: bad_subject
Feb 1st, 2013, 12:36 pm

Images courtesy of HBO


Message Posted On Feb 2nd, 2013, 5:03 am
Dr. Peter, I understand what you're trying to say, but that's kind of comparing apples to oranges. I'm not even someone who thinks horse racing should be outlawed (I'm all for personal freedom and the right to do whatever the hell you want that isn't hurting another person), but there is a big difference between horses dying for the entertainment of people and horses dying because they tripped while living their natural horsey lives. And there is an even bigger difference between that and horses dying for the sake of some fictional cable show's production. As for PETA, they are a bunch of lying hypocrites, and make real animal rights groups look bad. That said, Hoffman's statement makes him seem like a bitter jerk with an axe to grind. And this is coming from a huge Dustin Hoffman fan.
dr peter

Message Posted On Feb 2nd, 2013, 3:41 am
Horses break their legs low and behold even OUTSIDE of racing! That is, in the wild, running free. When this happens they die a long, agonizing death due to starvation and dehydration. That is the cold, hard truth, PETA and user hiflyer. In fact, the only way to stop horses from breaking their legs is to stop them from running period. Now THAT would be cruelty towards animals.

Message Posted On Feb 2nd, 2013, 2:18 am
Animals lovers so eager to protect them, they dismiss people. Irony of this is that human is animal too. All this advocates like PETA and Parents Council just different schemers looking for contributions. Life and death in nature coupled so tightly that you can't have one without another. In nature parasites can't thrive so strongly as to kill off it's hosts, but in human society they do. Hypocrites thrive and society at large pay.

Message Posted On Feb 2nd, 2013, 12:29 am
If it's a commonly known fact that horses break legs because of racing surely the most obvious remedy is to ban horse racing altogether. Hoffman's callous comments are a big disappointment coming from one of my favorite actors.
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