Professional clowns have expressed concerns that the upcoming movie "It" is making them lose business. The horror film is based on Stephen King's 1986 novel where seven children in Maine are terrorized by "Pennywise the Dancing Clown."
The clowns claim that they are losing business due to people's fear of clowns also known as "coulrophobia."
"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."
WCA wrote a press kit for clowns titled “WCA STAND ON SCARY CLOWNS !!” denouncing the portrayal of clowns in horror films.
"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.”
King acknowledged WCA's critique and wrote on Twitter "Kids have always been scared of clowns. Don't kill the messengers for the message."
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
The clown community has received negative backlash since 2016 following multiple reports of people dressed as clowns attacking people and luring children into the woods in South Carolina. In early October, a man in Colorado Springs suffered from head injuries after an alleged clown attack.
Despite WCA's critique of the movie "It", it has not curtailed the release of the film. The movie is expected to hit theaters Sept. 8.