CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration announced an investigation into Christmas drag shows in Florida Wednesday, after they say reports were submitted accusing the show of exposing children to sexually-explicit content. Another show by performance company Drag Fans is set for Clearwater on Thursday, and the state is already promising to look into it.
The investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation said contracted company Big Time Operator, LLC, working under the name “Drag Fans” is potentially violating state statutes through its “A Drag Queen Christmas” show.
An investigation by the state began after the show’s performance in Fort Lauderdale.
Now, another stop on the show’s tour in Florida in Clearwater at Ruth Eckerd Hall received a warning over the show’s content.
As previously reported, “A Drag Queen Christmas,” features former stars of the reality competition “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The holiday-themed show goes on tour all over the U.S. The latest investigation announcement continues a series of similar actions at drag-focused events. In July, the governor announced investigation into a drag show at a Miami bar, alleging there were children in attendance.
DeSantis has also mentioned a possibility of investigating parents via child protective services for taking their children to the drag shows, according to reporting by NBC News.
While the focus has been on investigation of the events due to allegations of children in the audience, the Ruth Eckerd Hall performance is limited to only include attendees 18 or older, according to the venue’s event details. They’ll even be carding attendees at the door to allow entrance.
In their letter announcing potential investigation, DBPR said that while they are aware of the age requirement announced for the Clearwater show, they advise the age limit is “strictly enforce[d],” and if children are allowed to attend the event, Ruth Eckerd Hall’s business license to sell alcohol may be “in jeopardy.”
“To avoid action being taken against your license, it is your obligation to ensure that minors are prohibited from attending the Drag Fans drag show,” Melanie S. Griffin, the Secretary of Business and Professional Regulation, said in the letter. “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.”
The Drag Queen Christmas tour from Drag Fans has already performed in multiple Florida locations, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Orlando. From the events schedule on the company’s website, it appears the Clearwater show may be the last stop on the tour.