HBO’s Luck: Third Horse Dies on Set, Leads to Cancellation of Series (UPDATED)
Update: HBO announced on March 14 that along with producers David Milch and Michael Mann they have decided to stop production on Luck. HBO released a statement: "Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures. While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision."
David and Michael added, "The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers. This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future."
Orignal story: HBO's newest prestige drama, Luck, is about the ins and outs of horse racing, racetrack betting, and the lives of the people who do both. Although some complain that the show started slowly, critical reception has generally been warm, and HBO decided to renew after just one episode. Sounds like things are going well for the Dustin Hoffman-starring freshman drama, right?
There's one problem: The production continues to accidentally kill horses during filming. On Tuesday (March 12), a horse had to be euthanized after falling and injuring its head, Entertainment Weekly reports, marking the third horse death on set.
The American Humane Association, the group responsible for making sure Hollywood treats its acting animals well, immediately called for the show to stop filming with horses so they can complete a "thorough, and comprehensive investigation" about what went wrong. Again.
HBO has already been working with the Humane Association to make sure proper safety procedures are in place, and released a statement saying that “as always, all safety precautions were in place" when this most recent accident happened. HBO is moving ahead with filming non-horse related scenes, and say they are "deeply saddened" by the incident.
Unsurprisingly, animal activist group PETA is not content with HBO's response, nor are they convinced that proper safety protocols are in place.
"All the evidence we have gathered points to sloppy oversight, the use of unfit, injured horses, and disregard for the treatment of race horses," a PETA rep told TMZ. "We will want answers on HBO’s latest casualty. Filming must stop now."
What do you think: Is HBO being sloppy, or is this kind of accident tragic, but unavoidable? Weigh in at our Facebook page.