WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- The Hyatt Regency Miami’s alcohol license is being revoked by the DeSantis administration after it hosted a “Drag Queen Christmas” show with minors present in the audience.
- The show, which tours in 36 cities and features stars from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” required people under 18 to be accompanied by an adult.
- The state’s business department accused the Miami venue of several violations, including a prohibition of “lascivious exhibition” before people younger than 16.
The DeSantis administration is revoking the alcohol license of the Hyatt Regency Miami after one of its facilities hosted a “Drag Queen Christmas” show that featured minors in the audience. The James L. Knight Center, which is affiliated with Hyatt, was the venue for the show that required anyone under the age of 18 to be accompanied by an adult in order to attend.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation filed a complaint against the show’s venue and accused it of several violations, including a prohibition of “lascivious exhibition” before people under the age of 16. The state’s business department claimed that the performers wore “sexually suggesting clothing and prosthetic female genitalia” while simulating masturbation.
The Hyatt Regency Miami is permitted to sell alcohol until the final decision is made. The business has 21 days to request a hearing, according to Beth Pannell, a spokeswoman for the department.
The general manager for the Hyatt Regency Miami, Amir Blattner, has said that the hotel’s liquor license is still in effect, and the hotel is reviewing the complaint. A third-party operator manages the Knight Center’s programming and ticketing while the hotel provides food and beverages concessions.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis supported the license revocation and stated that “sexually explicit content is not appropriate to display to children, and doing so violates Florida law.”
Equality Florida, an LGBTQ rights organization, accused DeSantis of “selectively weaponizing” state agencies against businesses to target drag performances. The organization said that such decisions should be left to parents.
Drag shows are protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech. Kate Ruane, who directs the US free expression programs at PEN America, a free-speech advocacy group, said that the administration’s decision to revoke the license was “deeply concerning,” warning that other businesses would opt not to hold drag performances due to fear of reprisal.