‘Work is a drag.’ Kentucky agency Cornett counters anti-drag attacks with workplace policy

Any employee who wishes to dress in drag at the office is officially encouraged to do so

Published On
Mar 27, 2023
Copywriter Coleman Larkin in drag at a meeting at the agency Cornett

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With anti-drag sentiment rising in the South, LGBTQ+ advocates have been mobility in support of drag performers. Now, the agency Cornett in Lexington, Kentucky, has joined in with “Work Is a Drag,” an official workplace policy that welcomes and encourages any employee who wishes to dress in drag at the office.

To mark the occasion, two Cornett employees—executive creative director Whit Hiler and senior copywriter Coleman Larkin—recently got drag makeover with help from local drag queens Jennae, Kali Dupree and Uma Jewels, as well as Scarlet Envy, a Kentucky native who appeared in several seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race (and who happens to have a degree in advertising design from the Fashion Institute of Technology).

Hiler and Larkin became queens-for-a-day Witty Comments and Sweet Evening Sleeze, respectively. Neither had tried drag before, and neither identifies as LGBTQ+, but both wanted to show allyship with the drag community. 

Whit Hiler, Christy Hiler, Coleman Larkin and Scarlet Envy at the Cornett offices

Drag performer Scarlet Envy writing "Kentucky is for everyone" in lipstick on a mirror

Whit Hiler of Cornett in drag

The move come just two weeks after Kentucky lawmakers have followed their Republican counterparts in Tennessee in passing a bill that targets drag performances in the state. The Kentucky law bans drag shows on publicly owned property or where the performance could be seen by a child.

“Creative expression is at the heart of what we do,” said Cornett president and owner Christy Hiler. “Cornett is committed to being a workplace open to every race, gender, sexual preference, age and ability. This policy is really just about respecting our employees’ freedom to be authentically themselves.”

She added: “Empowering employees to express themselves through the art of drag while at work is a natural extension of Cornett’s goal to produce original, boundary-pushing work.”

Scarlet Envy in front of a whiteboard that reads "Work Is a Drag"

Jenna Jive helping Coleman Larkin get in drag

Kali Dupree helping Whit Hiler get in drag

In addition to infringing on LGBTQ+ rights, Cornett believes the new law is just bad for business in the state. “These discriminatory laws go against our core values and hurt our ability to attract national clients and exceptional talent,” said Cornett director of marketing Jamon Deaver. “These actions are exactly why much of the country overlooks Kentucky and negatively stereotypes the people and businesses that call it home.”


Mar 27, 2023
Agency :
President & Owner :
Christy Hiler
Executive Creative Director :
Whit Hiler
Director of Marketing :
Jamon Deaver
Director of Social Strategy :
Robert Baker
Creative Director :
Chris Barnes
Associate Art Director :
Sarah Vaughan
Associate Art Director :
Nicole Berry
Senior Copywriter :
Coleman Larkin
Senior Graphic Designer :
Laura Merchant
Senior Account Executive :
Mia Isaac
Associate Copywriter :
Matt Mesa
Associate Content Creator :
Ty Duckwyler
Content Strategy Manager :
Caitlin Leiby
Content Creator :
Eric Waters
Assistant Account Executive :
Haley Bottorff
Business Support Lead :
Jared Lee
Creative Operations Manager :
Cathryn Hahn
Drag Queen & TV Personality :
Scarlet Envy
Drag Queen :
Jenna Jive
Drag Queen :
Kali Dupree
Drag Queen :
Uma Jewels
Photographer :
Richie Wireman

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