Gov. DeSantis investigating Broward Center for Performing Arts after drag show
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 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.
A lot of noise from some Broward County groups that are planning to protest a Drag Show outside the Center for Performing Arts.— Gerard Albert III (@gerard_albert3) December 19, 2022
Their beef, they say, is that the show is "family friendly" and "all ages."
But multiple websites say say it is 18+ pic.twitter.com/D9KoUOvCsL