Two days after all 16 charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped, the stunning news continues to reverberate across the media and political aisles. The decision to drop the charges against Smollett was met with alarmingly swift condemnation from Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel, whose reign as Chicago's mayor has been besieged with scrutiny due to the city's alarming homicide rate and the fatal police shooting of unarmed Black teenager Laquan McDonald, said the decision was a "whitewash of justice."
Now, Michael McAuliffe, a Republican state representative from Illinois, revealed that he wants to introduce a bill that would withhold tax credits from any film or television production that hires Jussie Smollett.
IL state Rep. Michael McAuliffe says he's introducing legislation to kill tax credits to productions that hire Jussie Smollett: “I 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" pic.twitter.com/L5QgLvpTye
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) March 28, 2019
"The General Assembly here in Illinois gives a very robust tax credit to any production company that plans on filming TV shows or movies," McAuliffe said on CNN. "Someone like Smollett or someone else that would commit the same type of act should not benefit from this generous, robust tax credit that is offered from the city of Chicago residents and the taxpayers of the state of Illinois."
Jussie Smollett was arrested in February for falsely reporting a hate crime. Earlier this year, the Empire actor alleged that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in the early hours of January 29 by two men. The Chicago Police Department later stated that Smollett staged the attack with Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, two Nigerian-American brothers and acquaintances of the actor. The Osundairo brothers were eventually released from custody.
In the wake of the controversy, Smollett was removed from the final two episodes of the fifth season of Empire.
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