A viral TikTok clip from a Palm Springs drag show is drawing criticism from right-wing news outlets and hateful comments online.
Palm Springs drag performer Sabryna Williams invited a young girl to dance on the stage at a July performance to a cheering brunch crowd.
Williams posted the clip online, writing, "Drag is for every age."
"Drag...helps to teach people that you can be whoever you want to be," Williams said. "I feel like at any age, that's when you should start learning – the younger, the better to be yourself, to be an individual."
This week, the video was reposted by right-wing social media accounts and shared by conservative outlets including Fox News, generating replies that hurled accusations of pedophilia and grooming children.
"I saw this little girl having a blast, I bent down to her... I said, 'Do you want to come and dance?' She said yes, and she ran right up with me onto the stage and started dancing," Williams said. "It wasn't about trying to groom her to be a stripper, or groom her to prove to her that she can use her body to make money. That's not what this was about."
The drag show was on the Fourth of July at Oscar's in downtown Palm Springs, where owner Dan Gore tells News Channel 3 many families bring their kids to enjoy performances.
"It just uplifts people, and it's a great experience in all aspects – the music, the dancing, the shablams, the death drops, the costumes," Gore said. "What kids don't enjoy some sort of spectacle?"
The controversy comes as conservative lawmakers in states like Florida, Arizona and Texas are taking action against drag shows, saying they can expose minors to sexually explicit content.
After receiving threatening messages online, Williams is asking venues to harden security.
"I know that we are not bad people. And I know that what we do is to make people happy. It's to make people smile," Williams said. 'What they say is not indicative of who I am as a person."