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DeSantis supports Hyatt hotel in Miami losing its liquor license over drag show

Nina West
Nina West (Photo: Shutterstock)

A Hyatt hotel in Florida faces losing its liquor license. It’s all because of a seasonal drag show that was open to those under 18 if accompanied by an adult.

‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ took place at the 4,500-seat James L. Knight Center. The venue is associated with the Hyatt Regency Miami. The show toured 36 venues in the run-up to the holidays and featured Drag Race alum such as Nina West.

The Florida Department of Business has filed a 17-page complaint against the owners of the Hyatt Regency Miami. It accuses the hotel of breaking several violations and wants to yank its liquor license.

The DoB says “promotional materials that did not provide notice as to the sexually explicit nature of the Show’s performances or other content.” It goes on to state, “performers appeared on stage wearing sexually suggestive clothing and prosthetic female genitalia.” They also rubbed “their exposed prosthetic female breasts against the faces or oral cavities of audience members.”

A Drag Queen Christmas flyer
‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ poster

The department says it can revoke a liquor license if a venue allows a “Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition” in front of minors.

The complaint was filed yesterday. The department has yet to make a final decision. According to Business Insider, Hyatt Regency Miami has 21 days to request a hearing on the matter. Until a final decision is made, it can continue to sell alcohol.

Amir Blattner, the general manager of the Hyatt Regency Miami told Insider the hotel was reviewing the complaint. They said events at the Knight center were booked by a third party, and the Hyatt organized the food and drink side of things.

“Governor DeSantis stands up for the innocence of children”

The complaint has the backing of Governor Ron DeSantis.

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

However, don’t expect a ruling any time soon. A legal expert said such complaints can take time to resolve.

Louis J. Terminello is an attorney who teaches alcoholic beverage law at the University of Miami School of Law. He told Tampa Bay Times, “These types of cases can take up to a year and a half to two years to resolve.”

The state is still investigating other venues that hosted ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ last December, including one in Fort Lauderdale.

It filed a similar complaint against R House in Wynwood, Miami over its drag brunch last August. That complaint remains open and the venue continues to serve alcohol.