Tax credit fight over Spike Lee film ‘Chiraq’

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CHICAGO -- A controversial movie by Spike Lee may have to be produced with no taxpayer money if the Chicago City Council decides that way.

This morning the council's Committee on Finance was supposed to consider a resolution today to deny the film a $3 million Production Tax Credit.

Alderman William Burns, who represents the city's 4th Ward, now says plans are underway for a special hearing on the resolution.

The film will center on the high level of continuing violence in Chicago neighborhoods.

Critics say the taxpayers shouldn't have to support a film that makes Chicago look bad and harms its efforts toward economic development and job creation. They also object to any film whose very title calls to mind grim images of the war in Iraq.

The producers from Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks say "Chiraq" will ultimately be a film about peace, and the critics are basing their arguments on irrational fear.

If the finance committee votes to deny tax relief to the film, the full City Council could take up the proposal as early as Wednesday.

If it passes the non-binding measure would ask state lawmakers to withhold the tax break.

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4 comments

  • John

    “Critics say the taxpayers shouldn’t have to support a film that makes Chicago look bad and harms its efforts toward economic development and job creation; they also object to any film whose very title calls to mind grim images of the war in Iraq.”
    I guess all the stories WGN carries about the violence and death are made up

    Why does the truth always upset politicians?

  • Jeff

    If the politicians in Chicago don’t like anyone shedding a light on the violence that occurs or the perception of violence in their city, maybe they should consider actually doing something about the problem rather than worry about someone making a movie about it..