Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that his office will investigate a Fort Lauderdale Christmas drag show that was accused of being indecent for children, who were permitted to be in the audience. The event reportedly featured sexually explicit content.
The show took place at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts on Monday and was part of the “A Drag Queen Christmas” national tour, the Floridian reported. According to attendees and local reporters, minor children were in the audience for the event promoted to “all ages” as entertainers simulated sex acts, conducted provocative routines such as “t*ts in a box,” “Screwdolph the Red Nippled Reindeer,” and performed lewd dances.
After the media dustup following the show, DeSantis’ press secretary, Bryan Griffin, issued a statement that the governor’s office was looking into the controversy.
“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 said. “The Department is actively investigating this matter, including video footage and photographs from the event. DPBR will, like in other cases, take action.”
“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 statement continued.
The announcement went on to say the DBPR would share all evidence with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for any “potential criminal liability.”
Gov. DeSantis, presumed to be a likely candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has built a reputation for himself on this issue, often condemning these types of shows that are marketed as “family friendly” and threatening to call Child Protective Services to handle parents who take children to these types of events.
Last summer, the DeSantis administration went after a restaurant that let kids attend “explicit” drag shows. The governor’s office said in a complaint filed against the business that the “nature of the performances … particularly when conducted in the presence of young children, corrupts the public morals and outrages the sense of public decency.”
The fight over drag shows and children has not been limited to Florida. The controversial events and the young audience members has become a culture flashpoint nationwide, with videos on social media showing what kids are exposed to at these performances.
One Twitter account at the center of the controversy has been the conservative “Libs of TikTok,” which has circulated videos posted by liberals in order to share them with a wider audience. “Libs of TikTok” founder Chaya Raichik told Fox News that after she was doxxed by the Washington Post in April, Gov. DeSantis offered her safe haven and told her she could hide out in the governor’s mansion.