Crew Member Allegedly Fired for Complaining About Animal Abuse During Filming of HBO's "Luck"
On December 31, 2012, former American Humane
Society (“AHS”) employee Barbara Casey filed suit for wrongful
termination against the AHS, and additionally filed suit against HBO based on
its treatment of horses while filming a now-cancelled television series.
As reported in The New York Times, Casey worked for the AHS when HBO series
“Luck” was still in production. The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles
Superior Court, claims that during filming of the series Casey witnessed
“ongoing, systemic and unlawful animal abuse and cruelty toward the
horses” between 2010 and 2012. Casey alleges that the AHS wrongfully
terminated her last January to keep her from reporting what she saw.
“Luck” was a drama series centered on
the world of high-stakes gambling and horse-racing. Although HBO claims that
they “maintained the highest safety standards possible” on the set of
“Luck,” the show was cancelled last year amid controversy fueled by
the network’s acknowledgement that, on the set, horses had been injured and euthanized.
In a recent statement, HBO continued to claim that it took “every precaution to
ensure that our horses were treated humanely and with the utmost care,
exceeding every safeguard of all protocols and guidelines required of the
production.” The AHS has yet to comment
on the suit.