An Elk City mayoral candidate is now in some hot water after several YouTube videos were shared around town. In the videos, Bill Helton, an Elk City commissioner and mayoral candidate, is seen dressing up as a black woman called “Pollyester Kotton.”
His critics say the character he plays is offensive, but Helton, who owns a salon, says it was playfully inspired by a woman who frequents his shop.
“The character came about from one of my clients, who was African-American, from Texas,” Helton said. He also pointed out that she helped him transform into his alter ego, who he dresses up as mostly when emceeing charity events.
We filled the house and raised over 20-something-thousand dollars for three families in need.
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.
But Anthony R. Douglas, President of the Oklahoma State Conference NAACP, says the use of black face crosses the line.
“Yes, this is a character. Men playing women or a woman playing a man is not new and can be very funny. But in black face? Have we learned nothing at all? This ‘character’ could have been just as effectively done without the black face makeup and would be far less offensive,” Douglas said.
Check out the video from the news story below.