Gov. DeSantis targets hotel’s liquor license after ‘lewd’ Christmas drag show
Image via

Screen Shot 2022-12-29 at 9.20.06 AM
Critics say the complaint is a baseless stunt.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration wants to revoke the liquor license of a Miami hotel connected to a Christmas drag show.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation filed an administrative complaint against Hyatt Regency Miami alleging “A Drag Queen Christmas,” performed at the James L. Knight Center on Sept. 27, violated state law by allowing minors in the venue.

That doesn’t automatically or immediately end the hotel’s ability to serve alcohol, but starts the process first threatened by the DeSantis administration in December.

“The revocation of the Hyatt Regency Miami license is subject to the procedures of Florida’s Administrative Procedure Act,” explained DBPR spokesperson Beth Pannell.Today’s administrative complaint kicks off that process.”

Officials with the hotel said they continue to have a license for now and plan to sort concerns out.

“The James L. Knight Center, including programming and ticketing, is managed by a third-party operator.,” said Amir Blattner, general manager for the Hyatt Regency Miami. “The hotel is the food and beverage concessionaire at the James L. Knight Center.

We can confirm the hotel’s liquor license remains in effect and has not been revoked. We are reviewing this complaint and will address the situation directly with the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation as part of administrative review process.”

The complaint asserts a number of incidents at the show violated state law regarding businesses that “injure the health or the community” or become “manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people.”

That included a performance of “Screwdolph the Red-Nipped Reindeer,” a parody song that identified reindeer named “Dildo” and “D**ks-in,” and described a “shiny bust.”

The complaint also alleges performers exposed prosthetic breasts, included a performance digitally penetrating a synthetic genital, and showed off buttocks to the audience. It also says performers graphically depicted “childbirth and/or abortion.”

LGBTQ advocates slammed the state action against the hotel.

“How far will he take this crusade in his desperate attempt to outrace his inevitable presidential primary opponents?” asked Equality Florida Press Secretary Brandon Wolf.

“Will he raid movie theaters because parents take their teenagers to see R-rated movies? Will he punish electronics stores because parents buy their children certain video games? How many businesses will DeSantis target, how many families will he force to co-parent with the government in his quest to manufacture right wing hysteria that he can monetize and weaponize?”

The DBPR complaint said the problem was the show being marketed as “all ages.” While advertising later was changed to say it was for an audience that was 18 or older, the complaint alleges minors were allowed to attend with an adult.

“During the Show and in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age, performers appeared on stage wearing sexually suggestive clothing and prosthetic female genitalia,” reads the complaint. “The Show features numerous segments where performers engaged in acts of sexual conduct, simulated sexual activity, and lewd, vulgar, and indecent displays.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Steven Scheel

    March 14, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Long live Desantis

    • Mr. Haney

      March 15, 2023 at 11:24 am

      Brainwashed or braindead?

  • Wlm L. Leap

    March 14, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    Interesting now to see whether Hyatt “caves” to the State’s threat or decides to make a stand on behalf of economic/commercial freedom? Imagine the groundswell that Hyatt could create if the megacompany was willing to follow solid Republican principles and
    “Just say no!”.

  • ScienceBLVR

    March 14, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    DeSantisWorld..Where FREEDOM goes to Die..

    • Catherine

      March 15, 2023 at 8:52 am

      DeSantis World, a world with morals and one that cares about children!

      • Mr. Haney

        March 15, 2023 at 11:25 am

        DeSantis could careless about children.

  • Peter S.

    March 15, 2023 at 9:10 am

    In DeSantis’ world, parents have no right to decide what content their children can see.

    • Mr. Haney

      March 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

      That’s because DeSantis knows what’s best for everyone.

    • Peggy B.

      March 15, 2023 at 11:32 am

      Parents can show porn to kids; it’s their constitutional right!

  • Bob Martin

    March 15, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    The Governor would better serve the state by finding housing for the homeless, clean beaches for the tourists, and insurance coverage for homeowners. We are getting sick of his charade and beginning to dread campaign season.

  • cassandra

    March 15, 2023 at 9:36 pm

    DeSantis has refused to fine hotels and lodging establishments cited for over 14,000 sex trafficking violations.

    Why is Ron punishing hotels over holiday drag shows attended by parents with their children, but is not interested in fining or closing hotels profiting from sex trafficking. Could it be because sex trafficking is a tourism draw and his rich donors profit from it?

  • Andrew Linko

    March 18, 2023 at 12:29 pm


Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn