Bill Helton, who is currently serving as Elk City’s commissioner and works as a hair dresser, claims that the character was inspired by one of his African American clients. He has been hosting fundraisers and community events across the state as the “Pollyster Kotton” character since 2005.
“It’s just satire, she’s a character,” Helton told KFOR, NewsChannel 4. “Anyone that’s offended, I would sit down and talk to them. Because my heart is, I would never do that and want to help whoever I can help,” Helton said. Watch the report:
“I don’t see myself as being racist, I’ve got great, great friends who are African American,” he added.
But the local Oklahoma chapter of the NAACP disagreed. In a statement to the news channel, the group wrote, “The character could have been just as effective done without the black face makeup and would be far less offensive.”