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Tag: 'Luck' (1-7 of 7)

HBO responds in court to 'Luck' lawsuit

HBO isn’t ready to back down in the legal case against Luck.

Barbara Casey, the former American Humane Association employee who claims she was fired for speaking out about the HBO show’s treatment of its horses, took legal action in January, claiming wrongful termination against the AHA, but also accusing HBO, along with Stewart Productions, which produced the show, of aiding and abetting an alleged animal abuse cover-up. (The cable network canceled its racetrack drama in March 2012 following a PETA protest and the death of three horses.)

HBO and Stewart Productions replied to that lawsuit with a demurrer that they filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court last week. The demurrer isn’t a response to accusations of animal mistreatment but claims that HBO and Stewart Productions cannot be held liable for Casey’s alleged wrongful termination because they were not her employers and because the allegations in Casey’s lawsuit are not specific enough. READ FULL STORY

Dustin Hoffman blames 'distorted' PETA, TMZ reporting for 'Luck' cancellation; PETA responds

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. READ FULL STORY

HBO sued over 'Luck' horse deaths, accused of cover-up


HBO’s Luck headache has returned.

The network was hit with a lawsuit over its beleaguered and ironically titled short-lived horse-racing drama. A former employee of the American Humane Association who worked on the show is accusing the network and producers of mistreating horses and says the animal rights organization aided in a cover-up of the abuse.

Barbara Casey was the director of production on the AHA’s film and TV unit and a longtime veteran of the organization. She served as a liaison between the animal rights institution and production companies. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court this week, Casey says horses were drugged, and that sick and underweight horses were forced to work on the show. Casey also claims animals were misidentified to make it more difficult for safety representatives to track their medical histories. “In order to save time and money [the defendants engaged in] direct criminal animal abuse and cruelty … [and] pressured AHA to allow them to violate AHA’s safety standards,” reads the suit. “[And to] allow the use of unsuitable horses in an attempt to ensure that sufficient numbers of horses would be available to meet its production demands.” READ FULL STORY

HBO cancels 'Luck' after third horse dies

The title was never meant to be quite this ironic.

HBO has elected to cancel production on Luck following the death of a third horse on the racetrack drama series.

The network released this statement:

“It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series Luck. 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. We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses, and everyone involved in its creation.” READ FULL STORY

Filming continues on 'Luck' in wake of third horse death

UPDATE (3/14): Luck canceled by HBO.

ORIGINAL POST: Filming that does not involve horses will continue on HBO’s critical fave Luck while the American Humane Association investigates the death of a third animal on the show’s Southern California set.

The first-year drama from David Milch and Michael Mann has already earned a second-season pickup, so production was underway on the second of 10 new episodes when a horse was injured and euthanized Tuesday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. The animal reared and fell back while on its way to a racetrack stable — a common occurrence in stable areas every year, according to a state racing board doctor. Still, a routine necropsy will be conducted and the AHA will investigate.

An AHA safety representative was at the track when the accident occurred, and according to an HBO spokesperson, “as always, all safety precautions were in place.” The rep said that the network is “deeply saddened” by the animal’s death.

Last month, it was revealed that two horses died during the filming of season 1 in 2010 and 2011.

Nine episodes of Luck, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, were ordered for the first season; the eighth will air next week. HBO ordered 10 more for a second season shortly after the official premiere garnered good reviews and decent ratings: the debut episode attracted 3.3 million viewers during multiple airings. The audience for subsequent episodes has dwindled, however, settling in at about 600,000 viewers.

More ‘Luck':
Third horse dies on set of HBO racing drama ‘Luck’
Animal safety a big concern for HBO’s ‘Luck’
‘Luck’ recap: There Will Be Blood
‘Luck’ sneak peek

Third horse dies on set of HBO racing drama 'Luck'

A horse was injured and euthanized Tuesday during production of the racetrack drama Luck, the third death in connection with the series, and a humane group that oversees Hollywood productions called for a halt to filming with the animals.

“We are also insisting that this stoppage remain in full effect pending a complete, thorough, and comprehensive investigation,” the American Humane Association said in a statement. It noted that the accident didn’t occur during filming or racing.

The animal was being led to a Santa Anita Park racetrack stable by a groom when it reared and fell back Tuesday morning, suffering a head injury, according to HBO. The horse was euthanized at the track in suburban Arcadia, where Luck is filming its second season.

In the series, which was created by David Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue) and looks at racing’s seedier side, Dustin Hoffman plays a crime kingpin who’s scheming to gain control of a racetrack and introduce casino gambling.

During season-one filming in 2010 and 2011, two horses were hurt during racing scenes and euthanized. HBO defended its treatment of the animals, saying it’s worked with the American Humane Association and racing industry experts to implement safety protocols that exceed film and TV industry standards.

The American Humane Association’s film and TV unit, the group sanctioned and supported by the entertainment industry to protect animals used in filming, called for a production halt at the Santa Anita Racetrack in suburban Arcadia after the second horse’s death.

Racing resumed after new protocols were put in place and proved effective, Karen Rosa, the AHA unit’s senior vice president, said in February.

On Tuesday, Dr. Gary Beck, a California Horse Racing Board veterinarian, said he had just examined the horse as part of routine health and safety procedures before it was to race later in the day.

“The horse was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground,” Beck said in a statement. An attending veterinarian determined that euthanasia was appropriate, he said.

Dr. Rick Arthur, medical director of the state racing board, said such injuries occur in stable areas every year and are more common than thought. A necropsy will be conducted, he said, which is routine with all fatalities at racing board enclosures.

An American Humane Association safety representative was at the track when the accident occurred and “as always, all safety precautions were in place,” HBO said in its statement that said it was “deeply saddened” by the horse’s death and was working with the AHA on its inquiry.

The first two horse deaths drew criticism from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which said that safety guidelines used in filming failed to prevent the deaths “so clearly they were inadequate.”

Kathy Guillermo, a PETA vice president, said at the time the group didn’t consider the matter closed.

“Racing itself is dangerous enough. This is a fictional representation of something and horses are still dying, and that to me is outrageous,” she said.

On Tuesday, Guillermo said PETA sent complaints about Luck to Arcadia police and an animal humane society in nearby Pasadena.

“Three horses have now died and all the evidence we have gathered points to sloppy oversight, the use of unfit, injured horses, and disregard for the treatment of thoroughbreds,” Guillermo said, calling for an immediate halt to filming.

Read more:
Animal safety a big concern for HBO’s ‘Luck’
‘Luck’ recap: There Will Be Blood
‘Luck’ sneak peek

Animal safety a big concern for HBO's 'Luck'

In the series premiere of HBO’s Luck, David Milch and Michael Mann’s unsparing look at the grit beneath the glamour of thoroughbred racing, a horse pulling away from the pack and just strides away from the finish line snaps its leg and has to be euthanized on the track. It was a heartbreaking scene, made even more so by the recent news that at least two real horses had been injured during the filming of the series — though not during this particular sequence — and subsequently had to be put down.

Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that the pilot credits did not have the standard “No animals were harmed during the filming of this program” stamp of approval from the American Humane Association, which monitored the production. PETA brought attention to the issue last week, with a report of the deaths and claims that they had been rebuffed when they approached HBO with their concerns before filming. “Perhaps if producers had considered the proven safety protocols that we would have suggested, these horses would still be alive,” they said. READ FULL STORY


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