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DeSantis is investigating the Broward Center for Performing Arts after drag show

Chris Day
/
Fresh Take Florida
Gov. Ron DeSantis is again investigating a South Florida venue for hosting a drag show.

The governor's office claims "A Drag Queen Christmas" was "marketed to children." Websites for the show stated entry was set for ages 18+, unless accompanied by a parent.

“A Drag Queen Christmas,”  features alumni from the reality series “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” It is being performed at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall on Dec. 29.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is again investigating a South Florida venue for hosting a drag show.

The move to investigate the Broward Center for the Performing Arts comes after they hosted a Christmas-themed drag show this week. The governor launched a similar investigation into a Wynwood bar in August of this year.

The governor's Press Secretary Bryan Griffin announced the investigation on Twitter, alleging the show was "marketed to children."

"The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is aware of multiple complaints about a sexually explicit performance marketed to children held in Fort Lauderdale on December 26th," the statement read.

The performance, A Drag Queen Christmas, stopped in Fort Lauderdale and the James L. Knight Center in Miami as part of a national tour. The performance has adult themes and content — but both South Florida shows were 18+ unless accompanied by a parent, according to the venues' websites.

The Broward venue originally said the show was all ages with a disclaimer about adult content, but updated to 18+ at least a week before the event.

 A screenshot of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts website taken on Dec. 17 that lists the Drag Show as all ages with a content disclaimer.
Wayback Machine
/
A screenshot of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts website taken on Dec. 17 that lists the Drag Show as all ages with a content disclaimer.
A screenshot of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts website on Dec. 19 showing the show was updated to 18+ with a disclaimer.
Gerard Albert III
/
WLRN
A screenshot of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts website on Dec. 19 showing the show was updated to 18+ with a disclaimer.

A spokesperson for the venue rejected that the show was marketed to children.

"To ensure patrons were aware of the adult themes and content in the show, this information was on the website and ticket purchase page; all ticket buyers were also informed directly through a “Know Before You Go” email, a customer communication that is sent out in advance of most shows," a statement from their media department stated.

The performing arts venue could face criminal charges stemming from the investigation. A spokesperson for the venue said they had not been contacted by the DBPR as of Wednesday morning.

"Exposing children to sexually explicit activity is a crime in Florida, and such action violates the Department's licensing standards for operating a business and holding a liquor license," the DBPR statement read.

The DBPR is "charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in the State of Florida," and is under the executive branch of the governors office.

WLRN News has requested the full complaint from the DBPR.

Copyright 2022 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

Gerard Albert III