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Florida probes 'sexually explicit performance marketed to children'

"Exposing children to sexually explicit activity is a crime in Florida," the governor's press secretary said.

Published: December 28, 2022 9:42am

Updated: December 28, 2022 12:08pm

Florida announced an investigation into a "sexually explicit performance marketed to children" after receiving multiple complaints about a Christmas drag show in Fort Lauderdale. 

The Broward Center of the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale hosted "A Drag Queen Christmas" on Monday. The show was part of a larger national tour, which included four stops throughout Florida, according to the show's website.

"The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is aware of multiple complaints about a sexually explicit performance marketed to children," Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary Bryan Griffin said Tuesday.

The Broward Center's page for the event stated: "This is an all-ages show but may contain adult content."

"The Department is actively investigating this matter, including video footage and photographs from the event," Griffin stated. "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." 

Evidence will be shared with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for possible criminal liability, the state said. 

The Florida agency in charge of the investigation licenses and regulates more than 1.7 million entities in 30 industries across the state.

The event garnered mass attention when the Twitter page "Libs of TikTok" posted about it last week. The group had performed a graphic drag routine in Austin, Texas, earlier this month.

"The same group who put on an extremely graphic 'family-friendly' drag show which featured simulated sex acts, exposed buttholes, and oversized fake exposed breasts is performing this show in Florida on Monday," Libs of TikTok said.

The Broward Center is not the only Florida venue describing the drag show as family-friendly.

"All ages welcome," Plaza Live Orlando states in the event description for the Christmas drag show, scheduled for Wednesday. 

The other two Florida venues were more strict about age requirements.

The Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, put a warning in bold in the Christmas drag show's description. "This performance has adult themes and content. Admission is limited to patrons 18 years of age or over. Proof of age will be required," the hall warned ahead of the event Thursday.

The James L Knight Center in Miami, where the drag show was held on Tuesday, said: "Adult content. Recommended for audiences 18+. Minors must be accompanied by an adult."

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