Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman spoke out about the cancellation of his HBO drama "Luck," saying the series was canceled because of misinformation spread by animal rights organization PETA and the tabloid site TMZ.com, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
HBO canceled the horse racing drama after its first season became swept up in controversy surrounding the deaths of several horses, the story notes. PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — accused the producers of failing to take proper care of the animals.
"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," Hoffman said in an interview with Fox News. "It was a collaboration between PETA and TMZ. It’s interesting, sites like TMZ, they’re mistaken for news."
In the Paulick Report article to which Hoffman refers, Ray Paulick writes, "Despite the finality of what happened, I can’t in good conscience allow the radical animal rights group PETA — and the journalists who faithfully report whatever the agenda-driven organization tells them — to have the last word on the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the three horses over the two-year period that ‘Luck’ was being filmed. Known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA was anything but ethical in how it spread lies about the equine accidents that plagued ‘Luck.’ "
Hoffman added, "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."
TMZ responded to the actor’s accusations, saying, "Truth is, the TMZ stories are in sync with what was reported on the Paulick Report." The TMZ report cites as facts a number of points TMZ published previously, noting that three horses died during production, with the third animal euthanized on the set … “and production continued a few hours later.”
TMZ also reports: “HBO acknowledged the deaths … and released a statement saying ‘accidents unfortunately happen.’”
The TMZ report adds: “The ratings for ‘Luck’ weren’t that great to begin with … and there were multiple reports that HBO used the horse deaths as an excuse to cancel the show without having to admit failure.”
TMZ, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner.
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."