Stephen King’s latest horror adaptation, It, is less than two weeks away and is tracking to do huge numbers at the box office. Yet, even before the film has even been released, people are already so terrified of Pennywise the Dancing Clown’s portrayal that it’s actually causing professional clowns in the real world to lose business.
There has been an increase in birthday party and school show cancellations ever since It began its marketing campaign, according to an interview Pam Moody, President of the World Clown Association, gave to The Hollywood Reporter.
Moody also recently stated in a press release:
“We understand that some people enjoy the ‘horror genre’ of entertainment, but we find that many people are confronted by images of horror characters (impersonating clowns) and are startled by them…which is obviously the goal of these horror characters. In my opinion, these horror characters are not clowns. Even the character in the movie It should be understood to be a fantasy character – not a true clown.”
This isn’t the first time the clown business has suffered due to a ‘scary clown craze.’ 2014’s season of American Horror Story, entitled “Freak Show,” featured a character named Twisty the Clown that re-ignited a fear of clowns for many. And then the 2016 clown sighting movement – when various people across the continent dressed up as evil clowns for no apparent reason – did anything but help the professional clown industry.
Judging by how terrifying It looks, it may be awhile before the clown industry gets back on track. Until then, check out It in theaters on September 8.