It was a publicity stunt that ended Mokai Lounge forever. Now, another Miami Beach club may also lose its license for animal cruelty and endangerment.
Mokai Lounge is a Miami Beach venue for dancing, events, and parties. Actually, make that was. An ill-advised publicity stunt last week recently went viral in the wrong way, and seriously pissed off the City of Miami.
In summary: a bikini-clad woman trotted a white horse onto the crowded Mokai dancefloor. In this video, the horse is led inside Mokai with a handler in front and woman on top. Suddenly, the horse freaks out, bucks off the woman, and almost injures multiple people.
WATCH: Mokai Lounge in Miami Beach under fire after video surfaced of a horse inside the nightclub pic.twitter.com/C7Saz3q20a
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) March 9, 2018
There are no reports of serious injuries for the horse, rider or patrons. But Mokai will have to pay for the stunt dearly. Within 24 hours, the city government of Miami Beach closed down Mokai Lounge.
City Manager Jimmy Morales issued an Order Revoking the Business Tax Receipt and Certificate of Use of Mokai Lounge, LLC located at 235 23 Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
Here’s the letter that was posted outside the club — the next day.
“I was disgusted and offended that any legitimate businessperson would think this was an appropriate action to take,” said Morales. “This activity was not permitted, and as soon as we became aware, I immediately instructed staff to act swiftly in remedying this situation.”
“Animal cruelty is an abhorrent and vile act,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “I fully support the immediate actions taken by the City Manager and his staff to ensure that this is remedied quickly.”
The shutdown was prompted by a video that emerged from inside Mokai. Now, there’s more footage of the same horse — at a different club.
The video, first shared by Miami’s Local 10, shows a very similar white horse parading inside a fancy club. That club might be Kiki on the River, which is owned by the same group. A screengrab from the video is above.
So far, no word on whether Kiki on the River will face the same fate. Though if city administrators are playing fair, they’ll swiftly act to shut down Kiki as well.
Meanwhile, it looks like the whole white-horse-in-a-club was inspired by a legendary picture from Studio 54. Riding the white horse was Bianca Jagger, who says she now regrets that decision. Jagger says she hopped on the horse in the club, but didn’t bring the horse inside.
“It was a beautiful white horse that reminded me of mine,” Jagger wrote the Financial Times in 2015, “and I made the foolish decision to get on it for a few minutes … No doubt you will agree with me that it is one thing to, on the spur of the moment, to get on a horse in a nightclub, but it is quite another to ride in on one.”
Of course, Studio 54 closed for other reasons. Back in the 70s, a white horse inside Studio 54 was just another crazy story. And there wasn’t any social media outrage to fan the flames — if anyone cared in the first place (sorry, horses).
Either way, activists say the comparison is stupid. “This is 2018, not Studio 54, and we know that horses are skittish animals who don’t belong among the pounding music, shouting crowds, and flashing lights of a nightclub,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement.
More as this develops.