Professional clowns blame Stephen King's 'It' movie for loss of work
Professional clowns are blaming the upcoming "It" movie on a loss of business.
The horror film is based on Stephen King's 1986 novel of the same name and follows seven children in Maine who are terrorized by It/Pennywise the Dancing Clown, as portrayed by Bill Skarsgard.
But legitimate clowns have now expressed their concern about the film and claim to be losing gigs due to coulrophobia, or an extreme fear of clowns.
"People had school shows and library shows that were canceled," World Clown Association (WCA) President Pam Moody told The Hollywood Reporter. "That's very unfortunate. The very public we're trying to deliver positive and important messages to aren't getting them."
Moody added she believes anti-clown sentiments began with King's original It character and is certain that the industry has taken a hit in general due to "scary clown" figures.
And clowning has also been hurt by the "killer clown" craze that began in the U.S. in August 2016 following reports of people dressed as clowns trying to lure children into the woods in South Carolina.
"They're different from regular people - they're costumed characters. But no one is picking on the Santa Clauses because that would ruin the retail business. It would ruin Christmas for everybody," Moody sighed.
In order to prepare professional clowns for the arrival of "It," WCA organizers have released a press kit for members. They advise that the "art of clown is something to be treasured" and state that It should be understood to be a "fantasy character - not a true clown."
A teaser clip for "It" was released in April, and King was less than sympathetic to the clown cause at the time.
"The clowns are p**sed at me. Sorry, most are great. BUT...kids have always been scared of clowns. Don't kill the messengers for the message," he tweeted.
"It" hits theaters Sept. 8.