In response to the surprise decision today to drop charges against Jussie Smollett, Illinois State Representative Michael McAuliffe says he plans to file legislation to prohibit any production using the actor from receiving Illinois Film Tax Credits.
McAuliffe, a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives, said in a statement, “A lot of valuable Chicago Police Department (CPD) man hours and resources were wasted chasing down a bogus crime arranged by Smollett.”
He continued, “Hate crimes are serious and so is the time and effort of the CPD. He has cost Chicago a lot more than a $10,000 bond. Smollett should not be able to get anything more from the City of Chicago or Illinois.”
According to Rep. McAuliffe, Illinois offers a 30% Film Tax Credit and an additional bonus of 15% is available on labor expenditures in high-poverty areas.
Under his proposed legislation, Rep. McAuliffe says any movie or TV production that employs the actor would forfeit that credit or any other credits administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue or the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Rep. McAuliffe says he will be filing the bill this week.
On Tuesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped all the charges against Jussie Smollett related to an alleged hate crime hoax.
Smollett addressed reporters after the hearing and maintained his innocence, saying, “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of.”
After the charges were dropped, attorneys for the “Empire” star released a statement saying, “Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”
The Office of Cook County State’s Attorney released a statement saying, “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”