Lawmaker proposes tax bill amendment to combat sexual assault in Hollywood

Lawmaker proposes tax bill amendment to combat sexual assault in Hollywood
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckHouse adopts Senate budget, takes step toward tax reform Colorado GOP rep declares: ‘The Republican Party is dead’ Time for the House to assert its constitutional authority MORE (R-Colo.) is introducing an amendment to the House GOP's tax-reform measure that would prohibit companies from writing off costs associated with sexual harassment settlements.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Buck billed the amendment to the House Republicans' Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as an effort to make sexual harassment and assault cases more costly for businesses — particularly in Hollywood.

“America has been watching Hollywood for decades, but not watching closely enough. Behind the red carpets and glitzy premieres is a culture of deceit and depravity," Buck said in the statement.

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"As Congress rethinks our tax code, we need to rethink the way we treat Hollywood by eliminating the business expense deduction for hush money associated with sexual assault and sexual harassment cases."

According to Buck's office, companies often write off legal settlements, fines, fees and legal expenses incurred in sexual harassment and assault cases.

"In allowing these businesses to expense the cost of resolving legal issues, the tax code makes it less financially costly for the business to engage in or allow activity that draws lawsuits," the congressman's office said in a statement.

A growing number of prominent figures in entertainment, media, business and politics have faced allegations of sexual assault or harassment in recent weeks, after The New York Times and The New Yorker published bombshell investigations detailing accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Since then, numerous people have come forward with accounts of sexual assault and harassment against Hollywood celebrities, including comedian Louis C.K. and "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey. Those allegations, as well as others against powerful players in other industries, have prompted renewed calls to crack down on sexual misconduct.