Clowns Protest Movie “It” In Effort To Get The Public To Like Them

download-2How exactly does this help?  Clowns are protesting the movie “It” as magnifying fear of clowns in society.  Professional clowns are reporting sharp drops after the release of the blockbuster movie. However, I fail to see how having clowns outside of the movie theater will help . . .  beyond being a truly outstanding advertisement and draw for the movie.

For example, clowns are planning to protest outside Union Square Regal Cinema in New York to “raise enough awareness so when people think of clowns they won’t think of scary murderers but people who dedicate their lives to bringing joy.”  Of course, having ticked off clowns glaring at you on a date is hardly relationship building. Indeed, this is hardly the audience that hires clowns. Not many adults are planning clowns for their birthdays.

Roughly two percent of the adult population suffers from coulrophobia, or fear of clowns.  A recent study explored the common fear of clowns in children and traced it to the innate fear of exaggerated appearances or elements in clown costumes.

In the meantime, the movie is expected to gross $200 million by this weekend.

The concern is that we have all scene what happens when you seriously upset a clown:


20 thoughts on “Clowns Protest Movie “It” In Effort To Get The Public To Like Them”

  1. Charlie Chaplin’s work proves that one can use clown makeup to make a great comedy while another person can copy that same clown’s makeup to create the exact opposite: unimaginable horrors. (It’s hard not to think of the following classic scene whenever I hear Wagner’s Prelude of Lohengrin.)

  2. The reason why Stephen King made the evil entity a clown in It is because clowns are scary. Any child can tell you that. The only people who think clowns are funny are adults.

    To a child – the clown looks like a fever nightmare where perspective is off. Makeup like dead flesh. Eye liner that looks like tears. Normal teeth and the whites of eyes look yellowed next to that pallid makeup. Partly bald with crazy hair on the side. Enormous feet.

    Who the heck thought that kids would find that friendly, gentle, funny, or non threatening???

    I firmly believe that clowns were created from the same source as children’s stories and nursery rhymes. Historically, children’s stories were frightening as hell to scare kids to death in order to teach them a lesson. I have the original Hans Christian Anderson and other folk tales. In one, a little girl had to chop her little finger off, peel the flesh from the bone, and use the bone to pick a lock to escape. The Little Mermaid’s love married another, so she had no soul and turned into sea foam. Witches ate children. They were really, really serious back then on teaching kids not to talk to strangers or fall for anything, because the world was a really violent place filled with pestilence and the rule of club.

    Clowns have been around for thousands of years. Although we’ve managed to brighten up nursery rhymes and children’s stories, we haven’t been so successful with clowns. Clowns would often act like they were lunatics so they could get away with mocking rulers. Even the first modern clown in the 1800s, Grimaldi, was depressed. Then there was the serial killer clown, John Wayne Gacy who killed 35 boys and men in Chicago. He’s the one who said, “You know, clowns can get away with murder.”

    Therapy clowns often don’t use that scary white makeup. They use more cutesy bright clothes or rainbow wigs so they look adorable rather than frantic.

    Sorry clown guilds- traditional clown makeup and behavior is freaky.

    1. Nonsense, Karen. Clowns have long been loved by children everywhere. Bozo the Clown, for example, was immensely popular with children. Bozo was invented by Alan W. Livingston, who later became a legendary executive at Capitol Records, where, among many things, he helped relaunch Frank Sinatra’s recording career and introduced the music of the Beatles to America, among other artists.


        It’s true that Bozo was internationally popular. It’s also true that the majority of children polled find clowns to be scary.

        I wonder what percentage of kids at the time were put off by Bozo, if it was the circus show or Bozo they liked, or what Bozo’s secret was for breaking the scary clown mold.

        Plus there is the phenomenon where kids would laugh at a clown’s silly antics from a circus’ stands but wouldn’t want to get close to one. Moms often talk about all the kids being scared of clowns.

        I’m not phobic of clowns but think they are more strange than cute. The book It did make clowns more associated with creepy. Razor blade teeth shredding a clown mouth will do that.

      2. Oh my gosh and in the book the kid Bill had this bike that took for bloody ever to get moving. Struggling and straining to pedal against the inertia while the maniacal clown entity was getting closer…. Gah! I couldn’t sleep reading that book.

        The most disturbing aspect of some of King’s works was a protector or benign figure twisting into a threat, i.e. The Shining.

    2. Karen – I have my way through all the different color Fairy Books and you are absolutely correct. Those tales told to children were life lessons to keep them safe in an unsafe time. Some of them are very brutal and graphic.


      Boy, I never realized how disturbing I find clowns until I think about how creepy they look up close with that cracked white makeup and the frantic movements. Not phobic, but also not something I’d expect a little one to be joyous about meeting up close.

      Right. Here we go:

      “A study in the British journal Nursing Standard last month surveyed 250 children aged between four and 16 and found that all of them had coulrophobia, or an irrational fear of clowns, with even the older ones finding them scary. Sydney’s contingent of clown doctors have hit back, saying the old-style Bozo clown with wild orange hair and white skin does not exist in hospitals here and they would never deliberately scare children.

      The co-founder of Clown Doctors, Peter Spitzer, said yesterday that years of research had gone into designing clowns who were not intimidating to small people.

      “We don’t wear wigs, we don’t wear giant red noses and the kids can see our skin. We always ask the child’s permission, either verbal or non-verbal, before we enter the room, and if a child gets upset we back away immediately.

      “I agree that clowns can be frightening for kids. I don’t think hospitals should have images of traditional clowns, like Bozo with that bright red hair and heavy white make-up, but all of our clown doctors are professional performers, and they are so loved by children and staff alike. We are so far removed from those static, frightening images of Bozo clowns because we are joyous, moving, engaging, sensitive, interactive doctors of delight.””

  3. The fictional use of clowns as a device to create “scares” in the horror genre is old hat and has been around for a long time. For example, what movie fanatic can forget “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” (1988)? In this sense, Stephen King’s latest “invention” is sheer third-rate hackwork, which only fools are in a hurry to see.

    And the fictional device that takes something most people normally associate with pleasant experiences (alive or inanimate) and transforms it into something menacing and horrible is also very old. Take, for example, a child’s doll. An imaginative fictional horror writer transformed that into “talking Tina,” a killer doll, made famous in a classic Twilight Zone episode. Similarly, inanimate puppets became frightening killers in many a fictional horror work. And, of course, children have been frequently transformed in horror fiction. See, for example, “The Bad Seed” (1956) or Stephen King’s other hackwork “Children of the Corn” (1984).

    Thus, clowns are simply another device of fictional horror writers. Next time, maybe cute little kittens will be transformed into maniacal slashers or cute puppies will become brutal creatures feasting on human flesh. You get the idea.

      1. Come now, Paul; say the title to yourself or out loud. You smiled, if not chuckled, right? See, clowns are funny!

  4. Seems to me there is a market opportunity in all of this. Maybe space aliens disguised as clowns? People could be afraid of a clown, then the clown could agree to remove his clown suit only to be a Gorn inside or something. I would recommend that only for cold weather. Sounds like it could get kind of hot. I know, I know… I’m just being “speciest” against the Gorn lot. I’ll probably be the subject of a lawsuit soon.

    Not a Stephen King fan anyway. Kind of liked The Stand, but I find his plots annoying simple. Although I did like the Salem’s Lot TV adaption.

  5. Maybe a class action suit against Stephen King which would require him to write a positive book about clowns and fund the movie to be made from the book. That would take care of Stephen’s problems. 🙂

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