King Derby performs during the Bryan-Roach campaign's virtual rally on Sept. 27, 2022. By SCREENSHOT
Governor Albert Bryan on Monday apologized on behalf of his campaign following discriminatory lyrics made against gubernatorial candidate Janelle Sarauw during the Bryan-Roach campaign's virtual rally last week.
King Derby, the legendary VI calypsonian, called Ms. Sarauw who is openly gay, a "he/she while performing a song supportive of the Bryan-Roach ticket. He said, "Who you want for governor, not the he/she or the long-neck fella," King Derby sang, referring to Ms. Sarauw as the he/she, and Sen. Kurt Vialet as the long-neck fella.
Ms. Sarauw, who recently returned to the territory from celebrating her 37th birthday in Mexico with her girlfriend, wrote on Facebook, "At the BR headquarters, they chanted not to vote for this he/she (Sarauw) and Longneck(Vialet). King Derby who was also sanctioned to sing on behalf of the team created a whole song about this he/she and the longneck as we were so kindly referred to. The [LGBTQ+] are voters…."
During today's press briefing, the governor was apologetic. "Today I will tell you publicly that anybody that is offended, and especially to the LGBTQ+ community, firm apology for the actions of others. We're a big organization, we have a lot of supporters, and everything our supporters do we don't support. We can't be in control of every single person that supports us or comes to our functions," the governor said, adding that an internal message was disseminated to supporters. "That's not tolerated, that's not who we are."
Mr. Bryan said the community knows that as governor he has been "the only governor in the history of the Virgin Islands to ever march in a pride parade, before and while a sitting governor. "I govern all the people of the Virgin Islands regardless of your denominations, sexual orientation, male, female, whether you're from the Eastern Caribbean or not, Frederiksted, Christiansted, Cruz Bay or Charlotte Amalie — once you live here I have to care for the people. So my apologies for that, and from the moment I heard it I knew it would be coming and we issued a statement rendering such," he said.