Three Dead Horses, One Cancelled Show

HBO's "Luck" has run out. After three horses died, the HBO Show, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, has been cancelled. 

In a statement, HBO explained the decision:

"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."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) disagrees with this assessment, claiming that the organization suggested ways to protect the horses even before filming began. PETA also criticizes the use of former race horses, who were out of practice and out of shape and should never have been raced twice in one day. 

In a letter to the Los Angeles district attorney, PETA encourages an investigation and outlines circumstances, as it sees them, around the first two deaths.

Discussion Starters:

  • Did HBO make the right decision to cancel "Luck" because of the horses' deaths?
  • How do you assess HBO's statement? Is this the best approach?
  • In PETA's letter to the LA district attorney, which do you believe are the strongest and weakest arguments?