When officials in Chicago dropped charges against Jussie Smollett after it was shown that he lied about the hate crime and created an elaborate hoax to trick authorities and the public, one Chicago lawmaker decided that he was not going to get away with it. This lawmaker proposed that any film or television show that employed Smollett would no longer be qualified to receive the state film credit.
This man is State Representative Michael McAuliffe, a Republican from Chicago. He said that because Smollett’s lies cost the Chicago Police Department around $150,000 and perhaps even more for the city at large, he does not want any film or television show squeezing more taxpayer money out of Chicago or Illinois if they work with Smollett.
McAuliffe said that Smollett “has cost Chicago a lot more than a $10,000 bond,” which was the amount he forfeited to walk free as part of his deal. Although there are no criminal charges filed against Smollett, McAuliffe does not want the city to roll over and take it from the actor. He believes Chicago must send a message that liars and hoax-creators will get their day of justice, even if the legal system and police department failed to administer it.
After engaging the entire country in a discussion about hate crimes, it was revealed that Smollett staged the entire thing as a way to gain more publicity and become a household name. While he achieved that throughout the process, he subsequently ruined his prospects as an actor, becoming one of the most hated names in Hollywood, effectively blacklisting himself for the criminal act of staging his own hate crime against himself. There is a lot of evidence – including a cashed check – to show that Smollett hired two men to “attack” him on one of the coldest nights in the history of Chicago while they stood in front of a non-working camera.
“Smollett should not be able to get anything more from the City of Chicago or Illinois,” McAuliffe said. He added that “a lot of valuable Chicago Police Department man hours and resources were wasted chasing down a bogus crime arranged by Smollett.”
Every time a film or television show gets filmed in Illinois, the state provides a generous tax break. It’s a way to get more films made in the state which brings jobs in and boosts the local economy. Productions can receive a 30 percent tax credit for purchases made in the state and for hiring local people. Additionally, if films seek out crew members from neighborhoods with high unemployment, the state provides an additional 15 percent credit. Also, the production doesn’t have to pay the 11.9 percent hotel occupancy tax for any member of the crew staying for more than 30 days.
If McAuliffe’s plan passes, then these productions would not get these generous tax breaks if they hire or work with Jussie Smollett.
If he gets his way, he will be pushing through this legislation in the next few days.
What do you think about this plan?