Costco has reportedly stopped selling Palmetto Cheese after the owner of the pimento cheese brand called Black Lives Matter a "terror organization."
The warehouse club pulled Palmetto Cheese, which had been sold in more than 120 of its stores, after Brian Henry, the founder of Palmetto Cheese and mayor of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, drew criticism for writing in a Facebook post on August 25 that he was "sickened by the senseless killings in Georgetown," according to news reports.
Screenshots of Henry's post, which has since been deleted, made the rounds on social media and prompted calls for a boycott of Palmetto Cheese. The controversial Facebook post followed the deaths of two white people in Georgetown, South Carolina, in August, with a Black man accused of killing them in a dispute over a car crash, according to a local news station.
"2 innocent people murdered. Not 2 thugs or people wanted on multiple warrants. 2 white people defenselessly gunned down by a black man," Henry wrote. "So why do we stand by and allow BLM to lawlessly destroy great American cities and threaten their citizens on a daily basis ... This BLM and Antifa movement must be treated like the terror organizations they are."
Costco and Henry did not immediately return requests for comment.
A sign posted at a store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, indicated that Palmetto Cheese had been pulled from Costco's shelves, according to a local news report.
The Palmetto Cheese website, www.pimentocheese.com, describes the product as the top-selling pimento cheese in the country and as being sold at more than 9,100 stores in 44 states and Washington, D.C.
At a press conference earlier this month, Henry reportedly apologized for his comments, calling them "hurtful and insensitive." He also urged those calling for a boycott of his company's product to consider the hundreds of jobs that depend on its success.
The Georgetown chapter of the NAACP has called for Henry's resignation.
After Henry's Facebook post became public, his company's use of a Black woman on its Palmetto Cheese packaging also drew criticism, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. The woman pictured is Vertrella Brown, a former cook at the Henry family's Sea View Inn on Pawleys Island, according to the newspaper, which added that Henry's company planned to redesign the packaging and that a new label would be on store shelves by the end of next month.