Florida Revokes Hyatt Regency Miami’s Alcohol License After Hosting ‘Explicit’ Drag Show Attended by Minors

The state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation says the venue violated six statutes

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is revoking the alcohol license of the Hyatt Regency Miami for hosting a drag queen event which “knowingly exposed minor children [to] sexually explicit content,” according to court documents. 

“A Drag Queen Christmas” took place on Dec. 27, 2022 at the James L. Knight Center, a venue connected to the Hyatt. 

Prior to the performance, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) sent a letter of warning to the hotel’s owner.

“Sexually explicit drag show performances constitute public nuisances, lewd activity, and disorderly conduct when minors are in attendance,” the letter states. “Accordingly, Florida’s licensure laws provide strict penalties for licensees who allow minors to attend these drag shows at their licensed premises.”

DBPR added: “If minors are allowed to attend this drag show, the Department will take any and all actions available to ensure that you do not pose a threat to minors in the future.” 

In response to the letter, the venue altered its advertisement for the show — which had initially been billed as an “all ages welcome” event — to state that minors “must be accompanied by an adult.” The revised information stated the show was recommended for audiences 18 or over. 

According to the DBPR complaint filed March 14, minors and “children appearing less than 16 years of age” were admitted to the event. 

The court filing details numerous instances of performers engaging in sexual conduct, simulated sexual activity, as well as “lewd, vulgar, and indecent displays” that include the exposure and rubbing of prosthetic breasts; performers intentionally exposing their buttocks; simulated masturbation “through performers’ digitally penetrating prosthetic female genital[ia]; graphic depictions of childbirth and/or abortion; and onscreen video projections that contained a variety of sexually explicit content.

Florida Complaint – Hyatt Miami by Christopher Karr on Scribd

The complaint further catalogues how the show presented “sexually explicit themes and prurient content presented through perverted versions of popular children’s Christmas songs.”

One example included a rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” that contained portrayals of fellatio and included the line “I’ll sit on his lap, he can put his milk and cookies all between my gap.”

DBPR’s filing also took issue with a performance of “Screwdolph the Red-Nippled Reindeer” which included the lines “You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen Vomit and Stupid and Dildo and Dicks-in” and “Then one soggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say ‘Screwdolph with your nipples so bright won’t you guide my sleigh tonight.’” 

The complaint concludes by alleging Hyatt Regency Miami violated six sections of Florida state law, including exposing genitals, prosthetic genitalia and breasts in a lewd manner as well as simulating sexual activity in the presence of children under age 16; operating a place of lewdness; intentionally selling admission to an obscene performance to minors; permitting disorderly conduct in the presence of children; and operating and maintaining a public nuisance. 

As a result, DBPR is revoking Hyatt Regency Miami’s license for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. 

“Sexually explicit content is not appropriate to display to children and doing so violates Florida law. Governor DeSantis stands up for the innocence of children in the classroom and throughout Florida,” said DeSantis’ press secretary Bryan Griffin, according to Florida’s Voice.

“A Drag Queen Christmas,” which toured 36 U.S. cities in 2022, ended its run in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, and Clearwater. 

The tour was hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race Miss Congeniality winner Nina West, the stage name for performer, author and activist Andrew Robert Levitt.

West was the subject of some controversy in 2021 after working with Nickelodeon to develop and perform in a Pride Parade sing-along for the children’s program Blues Clues and You. The video, which is set to a variation of the Civil War-era song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” portrays LGBTQ families with cartoon animal parents who are gay, lesbian, transgender, and nonbinary. 

“We celebrate everyone that makes up our LGBTQIA+ community,” West told EW regarding the Nickelodeon collaboration. “It reminds us all that we are integral for the fight for equality. My job is to not only provide a space for celebration and fun but to reiterate, specifically to my community, that LGBTQIA+ are valid, worthy, and perfect the way they are. I will always continue to choose kindness and positivity and lead with love while educating people on LGBTQIA+ issues and equality.”

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