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Dustin Hoffman: PETA's 'Distorted' Claims Caused HBO To Cancel 'Luck'

Dustin Hoffman believes PETA is to blame for the premature cancellation of HBO's horse racing drama 'Luck'.

The drama, which had already been picked up for a second season, suspended production after just nine episodes into its first season in March when a third horse was euthanized after falling backwards.

But in an interview for his directorial debut 'Quartet', Hoffman, who was the star of the show, explains he thinks PETA spread misconceptions about the treatment of the horses on the show.

"It's completely distorted. Anyone who raises horses know they break their legs. The accusations they made were distorted," he says. "Every time we'd race the horses we'd rest them. They'd race 20 seconds, then we'd rest them for an hour."

"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," he says, referring to its claim that PETA's mission is to end the use of animals for entertainment. "When we did 'All the President's Men', you had to have two sources -- and now they don't need any sources. It's gossip. But the general public believes what they say."

"I think they were looking to get contributions. Somebody ought to do a movie about them."

"It still deeply wounds me," Hoffman continues. "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."

PETA has already fired back at the actor, accusing him of being cold hearted.

"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," says spokesperson Wendy Wegner.

"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."

February 1, 2013 |

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