Let’s get something out of the way before we even dive into this; did I miss the era where party clowns were never NOT creepy?
I REST MY DAMN CASE.
I’m not going to pretend I have an explanation for these seemingly innocent things that creep the shit out of the masses. Dolls, spiders, and the painted faces of clowns have long been a deep phobia and the prime subject of fear for dozens of horror stories and films. So the entertainment industry plays on that. We ask to be scared. They want to deliver. And the fact that coulrophobia affects moe than a few horror fans, shouldn’t be much of a shock when we see countless horror films touching on that very fear. Regardless though, professional clowns are firmly stating that one of the most highly anticipated horror movies of 2017, Stephen King’s IT, will ultimately hurt their lucrative businesses.
In a report run by the BBC NewsBeat, the UK-based news site spoke with clown performers Celine Harland whose alter ego for 17 years goes by the name of Tickles and Matthew Faint (Mattie the Clown). Harland explained to the press, and a fair argument at that, being as how both the UK and US are just recovering from last year’s numerous clown threats, pranks, and torment, that the upcoming IT movie that is to be released September 8, will cause a serious loss in revenue for party clowns and call the film “sensational rubbish.”
Harland to the BBC-
“It’s a horror movie and it affects people’s thoughts and opinions on what a clown is. Unfortunately, it’s not like Jaws which is unrealistic, we do have clowns in society. I have parents and teachers phoning me. They’re scared to hire you in case they’ve got one child who will be upset.”
Faint to the BBC-
“It’s a horrible movie and we’d like to distance ourselves from the subject of scary clowns. There’s just so many horrible movies out there… clowns that eat people or whatever. It takes people’s minds in the wrong direction. We don’t need it, it’s bad, it’s disgusting.”
Pennywise creator and master storyteller Stephen King, has heard the complaints from the concerned clowns, and of course in pure Stephen King savagery, really didn’t sugar coat his feelings on the subject. Last year, in an interview with BDN Maine, King weighed in on exactly why he chose the image of a clown to represent IT:
“When I wrote my novel ‘IT’, I set it in Bangor, because it’s a town with a tough and violent history. I chose Pennywise the Clown as the face which the monster originally shows the kiddies because kids love clowns, but they also fear them; clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to ‘normal’ people. Take a little kid to the circus and show him a clown, he’s more apt to scream with fear than laugh.”
And his response to the outrage via Twitter states pretty much the same thing, well in under 140 characters of course.
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
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think that entertainment clowns have a valid base for being upset? Or do you think they’re merely overreacting? As always, friendly comments and opinions below!
Oh, and here’s that awesome trailer again, because.. well.. just because it’s incrediballs.