It is hitting theaters September 8th, but the World Clown Association (WCA) is already preparing for a PR nightmare. Pennywise the Clown is the main form adopted by the titular “It” from Stephen King’s novel. As you can guess, the mass marketing of an evil clown is not great for the WCA.
In response to the film’s upcoming release, the WCA has released a press kit titled “WCA STAND ON SCARY CLOWNS !!” The guide is essentially a manifesto for why clowns should beware of Pennywise. The guide says:
Even the character in the movie IT should be understood to be a fantasy character – not a true clown. Just as a Haunted House event may have a “doctor” wearing surgical gear, carrying a bloody chainsaw, people need to understand that this character is NOT a real doctor. He is a person portraying an evil character in order to scare people. In the same way, people dressed as horror clowns are not “real clowns.”
In 2016, there was a string of insane clown sightings. People would dress up as clowns and stand ominously in shadows, scaring bystanders. Some would even wield weapons. Although no violence was reported, the spooky clowns didn’t do any favors to the clown community.
Image Courtesy of CNN
Via The Hollywood Reporter, WCA president Pam Moody says that one WCA member showed up early to a child’s birthday party, and was waiting in her car. Moody says, “She looks up and there are four police officers surrounding her. Someone in the neighborhood called in a clown sighting.”
With the imminent release of It, the clown community will face another wave of public fear. Stephen King is no stranger to backlash from the clowns. In April, he tweeted:
The clowns are pissed at me. Sorry, most are great. BUT…kids have always been scared of clowns. Don’t kill the messengers for the message.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 10, 2017
It may be shaping up to be the scariest King adaptation, but it’s not audiences who are the most terrified. It’s the clowns. When you leave the theater September 8th and see a clown ominously standing in the shadows, remember he’s just a clown. He’s there for a good time.
Featured Image Courtesy of IBTimes