Bell likely Miss Gay America has been eyeing a new Miss Pageant website
A new bill introduced by the Arkansas Senate aims to classify drag performances as an “adult-oriented business,” and the state’s drag community is on the heels of the ripple effect.
Little Rock, Arkansas, has hosted the Miss Gay America pageant several times since its founding in 1972, but Senate Bill 43 has the team behind the pageant eyeing a new location—especially if the bill is signed into law.
Michael Dutzer, CEO and Executive Producer of Mad Angel Entertainment (the company that produces the pageant), told NBC affiliate KARK News that the Miss Gay America Pageant has “roots” in Arkansas. Norma Christie, owner of Little Rock, took home the first crown in 1973, and the pageant itself has been held at the Little Rock Robinson Center many times over the years.
However, if Senate Bill 43 passes, drag shows would be classified as adult-oriented acts, meaning that any show considered “extremely sexual” could not take place anywhere that someone under 18 could see it. Dutzer said the Robinson Center had offered an extended contract through 2026, but the introduction of the bill caused him to retract his acceptance.
“We are now looking at moving to another city because we don’t know what the future of the show is here,” he said. “that they [the Robinson Center] They were like, “We don’t know what this bill is going to do. We don’t know if you should sign because we don’t want to like signing a contract and then turn you away.”
The Miss Gay America Pageant draws approximately 2,000 travelers to the event and the production consists of more than 200 performers. Mad Angel Entertainment is spending nearly $70,000 to produce the show, and was crowned Miss Gay America #51 last weekend.
The Senate General Assembly is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday, January 24. And if passed, it will travel through the House Committee and the House General Assembly before landing on the governor’s desk for a final decision.
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