Dustin Hoffman may be promoting his new movie Quartet, but he’s still talking about Luck. Asked by Fox411 if the HBO racetrack drama’s cancellation after the death of three horses disappointed him, Hoffman shared why: “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,” he said.
Then, Hoffman claimed the cancellation was “a collaboration between PETA and TMZ,” and cited the horse racing site Paulick Report, which published a piece titled “The PETA Distortion: How Luck‘s Cancellation Was Far From Ethical” two days after the news broke. “Anyone who raises horses know they break their legs,” Hoffman said. “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.”
(It won’t be him: “I don’t want to be involved with the subject matter!” he said.)
In a statement obtained by EW, PETA responds: “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.”
TMZ stands by its reporting, saying its facts are “in sync with what was reported on the Paulick Report.”