Belfast Telegraph

Dustin Hoffman TV show axed

Dustin Hoffman's TV show Luck has been cancelled.

The American programme is centred on horse racing but had been called into question after three horses died while it was being filmed. The latest steed was euthanized earlier this week after it was injured during a fall.

Dustin appears in the show as Chester Bernstein, who has just been released from prison and has a plan involving the race track featured.

Executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann announced shooting had been halted yesterday.

"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," they said in a statement.

"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."

Following the death of the five-year-old horse earlier this week, there were calls for the series to be canned.

The American Humane Association said the animals should no longer be used during filming, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stated shooting should stop altogether.

"The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers," the statement continued. "This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future."

Although the first two horses died after filming racing scenes, the last steed was injured after it reared up on the way to set.

PETA vice president Kathy Guillermo gave an interview to RadarOnline shortly before news the show had been cancelled came through. She slammed the programme, insisting sources involved with it had told her they were concerned another tragedy might happen some time ago.

"I am furious with HBO - putting old, unfit horses on a track is murder," she said

"There were licensed humane officers on the set who feared there would be another death because the horses used were all older and out of shape."

The animal rights organisation released a statement after the cancellation of Luck was confirmed.

"We thank the whistleblowers who refused to let these horses' deaths go unnoticed," it read. "Should Milch, Mann, and [network] HBO decide to start the series up again, PETA will be calling on them, as we have done from the start, to use stock racing footage instead of endangering horses for entertainment purposes."

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