HBO cancelled it’s Dustin Hoffman horse racing series only “Luck” after only one season last year due to the tragic deaths of three horses. The network is now being accused of trying to cover up the alleged inhumane treatment of the animals.
Barbara Casey, who worked for the American Humane Association’s film and television unit for thirteen years, is suing the network and the show’s producer, Stewart Production. She claims they tried to cover up the alleged abuse and safety violations of the animals. Per the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Casey also alleges the production team wrongfully terminated her after she blew the whistle on the horses’ mistreatment.
The complaint states that the animal welfare organization witnessed drugged horses that were oftentimes sick and underweight. She claimed that HBO and Stewart productions perssured the AHA hierarchy to let them violate safety standards “in order to save money” and “minimize any disruption to its production schedule”. The suit claims that the AHA ultimately ignored Casey’s protests and her wish to report the horse’s abuse.
Casey was fired in January 2012, as she claims was due to her protests. Casey’s suit seeks general and punitive damages. HBO denies the allegations saying, “we took every precaution to ensure that our horses were treated humanely and with the utmost care.”