The Misrepresentation of Key West in “Road House”

The Misrepresentation of Key West in “Road House”

The portrayal of Key West in Jake Gyllenhaal’s latest movie, “Road House,” has sparked controversy with the Mayor of Key West, Teri Johnston. Mayor Johnston expresses her disapproval of the film’s depiction of their sunny paradise as rowdy, drug-filled, and crime-ridden. She emphasizes that while this might have been an accurate portrayal of The Keys in the past, it is far from the reality of the Key West in 2024.

Mayor Johnston highlights the diversity and success of Key West residents, with 90% of them being transplants. She mentions that Key West is home to a mix of environmentalists, artists, business owners, teachers, firefighters, and police officers who have chosen to live their best lives in this vibrant community. Key West is known for its welcoming atmosphere and lack of crime, making it a popular destination for visitors looking for a good time.

The Mayor emphasizes the transformation of the “wild children” of the ’80s into responsible stewards of Key West. She takes pride in the fact that the residents of Key West now uphold the city’s motto of “One Human Family” and are committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment. Despite its past reputation, Key West has evolved into a city known for its responsible and law-abiding citizens.

Merrill Raschein, the Mayor of Monroe County, FL, shares similar sentiments regarding the peaceful and law-abiding nature of the Florida Keys. She clarifies that the movie “Road House” was not filmed in their county, and the only accurate depiction of the Florida Keys in the film was their local attraction, Fred the Tree on the 7 Mile Bridge. Mayor Raschein commends the residents of Monroe County for creating a safe and welcoming community for all.

The misrepresentation of Key West in “Road House” has sparked criticism from local officials who are proud of the thriving and inclusive communities they have built. While the movie may be entertaining, it is essential to acknowledge the real-life beauty and harmony of Key West and the Florida Keys. It is important to portray destinations accurately and respectfully in media to avoid misinforming and creating false perceptions.


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