Illinois Lawmaker to Introduce Bill Killing Tax Credits for Companies Employing Jussie Smollett

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 26: Actor Jussie Smollett after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This morning in court it was announced that all charges were dropped against the actor. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Appearing Thursday on CNN, Illinois State Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) discussed his plans to introduce legislation that would end tax credits to businesses that employ Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who the Chicago Police Department charges staged his own racist and homophobic attack on himself to boost his career.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

BRIANNA KEILAR: Do you agree with the president that the FBI and the DOJ need to review the [Jussie Smollett] case?

MICHAEL MCAULIFFE: Well, that’s his prerogative as our chief officer, but I’m here to talk about the legislation that I plan on filing tomorrow.

BRIANNA KEILAR: Okay. In that legislation you have is to withhold state film tax credits from any production that employs Smollett. I certainly understand that you feel you have a lot of support. I know the area you represent, there are a lot of police officers there and I’m sure they are making their opinions known to you. I know you and they feel the legal system has failed to do its job, right? Is this the way to get around that? I mean, it’s a pretty unprecedented move that you’re making, so explain this to us and tell us why this is the proper route to take, in your opinion?
MICHAEL MCAULIFFE: Okay, let’s go through the story. Two months ago, in a cold winter night when mostly all Chicagoans were at home for many days watching on T.V., we saw how [Jussie] Smollett said that he was a victim. As it turns out through the police, the hard work of the men and women of the Chicago Police Department that get a very bad wrap, a lot because of the violence here in Chicago. This perpetrator, or [Jussie] Smollett, did a hoax. Pretended he was a victim, orchestrated this whole hoax. We lost many, many hours of man power, man time, overtime, on over cases police could be investigating like murders and shootings, and this went on for two months. Also, it made Chicago the laughing stock of the nation  because not only was it a hoax crime, it was a hate crime.

The General Assembly gives a robust tax credit to any production company that plans on filming T.V. shows or movies. And I feel, and I feel a lot of Chicagoans feel, someone like [Jussie] Smollett or someone else that would commit the same kind of act should not benefit from this generous, robust tax credit.


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