In just over a week, director Andrés Muschietti’s It will hit theaters and as the premiere gets closer, the idea that terrifying clowns are always lurking has infiltrated pop culture. However, if you think about it, haven’t scary clowns always been a fear for at least some of us?
We think so, but if you ask others, they stand by the idea that the clown fear, at least to this magnitude, is a recent phenomenon made worse by the clown scares of 2016 and the marketing for It. While it is true that when something we fear is the subject of the media it’s more in our faces, so our fear seems more real, it’s not an entirely new idea. We didn’t even have birthdays at McDonald’s when we were young because Ronald McDonald terrified us.
The WCA is speaking out against the phobia of clowns because they say that it’s hurting the business for working clowns. In fact, World Clown Association president Pam Moody said that the positive messages clowns try to spread aren’t reaching their audiences due to fear.
‘People had school shows and library shows that were canceled. That’s very unfortunate. The very public we’re trying to deliver positive and important messages to aren’t getting them.’
She went on to say that a WCA member recently arrived early for a birthday party and police were waiting there for her.
‘She looks up and there are four police officers surrounding her. Someone in the neighborhood called in a clown sighting.’
However, producer David Katzenberg told USA Today that the allegations were ‘somewhat absurd’. Seth Grahame-Smith agreed and brought up everything from other horror legends to haunted houses and said that it’s all a bit subjective.
‘It’s not as if a group of NHL goalies got up and protested Jason or a group of toy manufacturers protested Chucky. There’s a long tradition in horror of these seemingly harmless things being perverted for that very reason, because they are seemingly harmless.’
We totally buy into the ‘seemingly harmless things being perverted’ type of fear. Jason is scary because he hides behind ‘just a hockey mask’ and the psychos in movies like Scream are terrifying because they’re the kids in high school. We absolutely understand that magnified fear.
However, as Grahame-Smith said, we don’t totally avoid it. You’ll see us at the theater seeing It opening weekend. We go to haunted houses every October and we still enjoy the cult classic scary movies.
So where do you stand on the debate? Do you think clown movies are ruining the industry for working clowns? Let us know.
‘…but I knew him’