With allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and other forms of misconduct sweeping through Hollywood in recent weeks, at least one Republican congressman is calling for Congress to hold hearings on entertainment industry practices.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Thursday that Congress should help expose the widespread “criminal conduct” that has taken place in Hollywood and across the entertainment industry over decades.
“I think Congress — both the House and Senate — should hold hearings and expose what’s going on, and make sure people understand that Hollywood and the entertainment industry have a serious problem with sexual predators, and not trying to address the culture that’s been created,” Rep. Buck said.
“Now that we are discussing the tax bill, I think our leadership should make it absolutely clear that we are not going to allow deductibility of settlements for the conduct of sexual predators and give a tax benefit to the entertainment industry for criminal behavior,” he added.
Buck’s comments come as allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood have exploded in recent weeks, with accusations against major industry players seemingly coming to light nearly every day.
Actor Kevin Spacey was accused this week by former Broadway star Anthony Rapp of making a sexual advance on him at a New York City party in 1986, when the latter actor was just 14 years old, while actor Dustin Hoffman and director-producer Brett Ratner have each faced separate allegations from multiple women of sexual misconduct. More than 50 prominent Hollywood and media figures have faced sexual misconduct allegations since early October, when the New York Times first published a bombshell exposé on film producer Harvey Weinstein that detailed decades of accusations from actresses and other industry workers.
Since the New York Times‘ initial report, at least nine women have accused Weinstein of rape.
“I think it’s clear that for decades, there have been cover-ups of criminal conduct, and as a prosecutor for 25 years, it is disturbing that Americans have allowed this to happen,” Rep. Buck told Breitbart News.
“What’s more concerning to me than the one individual’s conduct, as gross as that is, is the overall culture in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. And I think it is just a matter of too many people turning a blind eye to this criminal conduct,” he added. “I don’t care whether it’s rape, or other forms of sex assault. It should all be prosecuted. It’s time Americans stand up and say, ‘We’re not going to buy products from an industry that allows this kind of culture and treatment of women.’ I’m suprised that more women’s groups haven’t come out against this kind of conduct, and try to hold Hollywood accountable.”
Rep. Buck suggested that a number of Congressional Committees could have jurisdiction to bring up hearings, including the Judiciary Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, which could re-evaluate tax breaks and other incentives provided to Hollywood.
“The conduct in the entertainment industry is absolutely horrific, and I think is on a scale much worse than what I see here in Washington D.C,” Rep. Buck said. “We’re talking about raping women. We’re talking about a scar that a woman is going to have for the rest of her life as a result of a horrible experience, and a whole industry that has covered up this conduct in a way that can only be described as a large group of people knowing the culture and accepting it, because they’re willing to walk away with large profits and ignore criminal conduct. And that’s just on a different scale than the kind of corruption that we have in. D.C.”
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum