News Story

Will Michigan Taxpayers Be Giving KISS Millions For the Rock Band's Film?

Gene Simmons slaps down socialism but KISS film may accept film subsidies

KISS rock band front man Gene Simmons has earned a national reputation for his blunt talk regarding socialism and the government's role in the lives of citizens.

Simmons told Forbes in 2012, “I don’t believe the government should stick their noses into the rise and fall of the economy. I don’t believe in the welfare system, I believe in the job system. … I don’t borrow money, and I fund myself and I create jobs and I hate anybody that’s looking for a free ride.”

Which raises the question: Would the KISS front man approve of the $8.2 million in incentives the Michigan Film Office approved in 2011 for the KISS film "Cadillac High"?

Simmons has made several public comments critical of welfare and government intervention into the economy. And he told MLive recently that the movie was fully funded and in pre-production.

That’s notable because that 2011 multi-million dollar deal has expired. The project was expected to spend $27.1 million in the state.

The production company would have to reapply for the film incentive and hasn’t yet, said Michelle Grinnell, spokeswoman for the Michigan Film Office.

It is unclear what KISS's involvement with the movie is or what financial stake the band has in it. Grinnell referred questions about the original production company, Cadillac Way Productions, to its officers.

A phone message left with Linden Nelson of Cadillac Way Productions, who applied for the 2011 film incentive, was not returned. An email to Gene Simmons via his personal website was not returned.

Simmons has a history of making statements that seem to oppose government intervention into the economy like the film incentive program.

In a 2011 column for Britain’s The Sun, he wrote, “Capitalism is the best thing that ever happened to human beings. The welfare state sounds wonderful but it doesn’t work. Governments hand out more money than they have to support welfare and they land in debt. Then they have to borrow money… that’s bad business. And it has created a culture of entitlement.”


See also:

Housing Expenses Among the Perks Michigan Residents Pay For Big Hollywood

Batman and Superman vs. Taxpayers

Record Profits For Warner Bros. Doesn't Stop State From Giving Company Huge Subsidy 

Five Reasons Government Subsidies For Films Are A Bad Idea

Film Incentives: The $50 Million Sequel

Public Employee Pension Systems Raided To Pay Film Studio Bills

Big Hollywood Bailout: Taxpayers Spent Nearly $40 Million To Subsidize Disney's 'Oz'

Cost of Film Program Could Repair Over 5 million Potholes

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.