Calls continue for Pawleys Island mayor to resign over racially insensitive Facebook post

Georgetown County News

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The Georgetown branch of the NAACP again called for the resignation of Pawleys Island Mayor Brian Henry on Monday.

The group, along with members of the community and other organizations, held a protest at Pawleys Island Town Hall with a renewed push for Mayor Henry to step down over what they say was a racist post on Facebook.

It referred to the Black Lives Matter movement as a terror organization and commented on the recent fatal shooting of individuals in Andrews.

Henry is the owner of the prominent Palmetto Cheese brand, which also came under fire following his social media post because it includes the face of a Black woman on the product’s packaging.

Many claimed the woman is not behind the Palmetto Cheese recipe.

Earlier this month, Mayor Henry held a press conference where he apologized for the racially insensitive comments and announced an immediate rebranding of the Palmetto Cheese brand.

“I am profoundly sorry for those who are offended by my post last week. My comments were hurtful and insensitive,” he said. “I have met and prayed with the faith leaders of the black community, working to find positive ways to move forward. I am grateful for the grace and forgiveness that they have extended to me.”

The company will be creating a foundation to honor the memory of Vertrella Brown.

“We will be creating a foundation honoring the memory of our dear friend Vertrella Brown. The foundation’s goal is to improve race relations through community events and providing scholarship opportunities for young people in the community.”

Henry said while the recipe for Palmetto Cheese has always been the recipe his wife created, and Vertrella Brown’s face is used on the Palmetto Cheese packaging.

“We have already initiated a product re-branding effort to be more sensitive to cultural diversity,” he said.

But for the Georgetown branch of the NAACP and others in the community, the apology did not cut it.

President of the organization, Marvin Neal, said Henry has shown his true colors.

“I came to the conclusion that to be racist and to make racist comments makes you a racist person, so that question of whether he’s a racist or not…Mayor Brian Henry is a racist and I don’t want him to look at it any other way,” said Neal.

News 2 reached out to Mayor Henry, he told us that he would release a statement later Monday evening.

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