In March of last year, HBO confirmed its decision to cancel the racehorse drama starring Dustin Hoffman Luck after only its first season. Although they promised safety of the animals was their first priority, throughout the production of the nine episodes, Paste Magazine reports several of their horses died during filming.
Recently, a lawsuit has been filed claiming both the network and its animal rights supervising committee, the American Humane Association, may have covered up even more animal abuse that had occurred behind the scenes. The Hollywood Reporter reveals the official document. Barbara Casey, who had worked on the set of Luck as the Director of Production in the AHA’s Film and Television Unit, is suing HBO for multiple counts of unreported animal abuse. She had allegedly been pressured to keep her lips sealed on the matter under threat of being let go from the team, and was eventually wrongfully fired for alerting authorities.
“In order to save time and money…minimize any disruption of its production schedule…rather than fully cooperate with AHA, continued to engage in and/or direct animal abuse and cruelty,” Casey states. Among the charges, she recalls underweight, sick, and retired racehorses being “drugged to perform.” Moreover, another horse, Hometrader, was killed, but because it was during a summer hiatus, his passing “did not count.”