Magazine cover sparks heated controversy in Oklahoma

Magazine Cover Sparks Controversy in Oklahoma

ARDMORE, Okla. (KFOR) -- An Oklahoma magazine is stirring up controversy.

Inside Friday's Daily Ardmoreite edition was this season's Southern Oklahoma Living magazine.

When Gene Autry's mayor, Kyle Lawson, saw the cover his jaw nearly dropped.

"My first initial reaction was I almost spit my coffee out when I first saw it," Lawson said.

On the cover is a baby in a costume supposed to resemble the tin man.

"Just the way that the hood kind of goes up and the handle for the tin man`s hat is kind of hidden behind the 'I'," Lawson said. "And just the way the flap comes down on the side it looks like one of the Klansmen baby outfits."

Others are weighing in on the controversial image.

"I wouldn`t have thought of that when I first looked at it. No, but I didn`t think of the tin man either, but I didn`t see nothing wrong with it," Ardmore resident Tasha Kinney said.

"KKK. That`s what I thought," Kirk Rushing, an Ardmore community leader, said.

The Ardmoreite publishes the magazine and a number of people are asking for the paper to apologize.

"As bad as we hate to say it we live in a world where you have to be cautious," Rushing said.

News Channel 4 stopped by to talk to the publisher.

She was not there, but we got a copy of Sunday's paper.

In it she wrote an article titled "Friday was a sad day in Ardmore".

Image: KFOR

She wrote, "Unfortunately, with the current climate in the country, even the most innocuous imagery can be misconstrued into something hateful and destructive."

The article went on to say, "I don't have a formal apology but here's what I will say, if you were offended by the photo I'm sorry you didn't see what I saw. Or what I'm sure many other people saw -- a child dressed as an iconic character from one of the most beloved films of the Twentieth Century."

We are told the costume was store bought.

One local woman said she is taking the picture to the NAACP.

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