It’s no secret that clowns, as in real clowns who presumably don’t kill children, are not the biggest fans of Stephen King. They’ve been pretty outspoken about IT and its depiction of a terrifying, child-eating clown ever since the new adaptation was announced; presumably, they were also outraged in 1986 and again in 1990.
King himself recently responded to the claims that the fictional Pennywise is killing the clown industry, writing on Twitter that “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.”
Now, with IT arriving in theaters this week, VICE reports today that at least one clown group is planning on protesting the release of the film. Over in Canada, the Thunder Bay Clown Club plans on assembling outside of the town’s Silver City Theatre before tonight’s premiere, where they will “hand out pamphlets denouncing the negative view of clowns.”
“We feel that this has done great harm in the business of clowning and for clowns,” said Thunder Bay clown Dianne McNicol. “A number of clown clubs have actually folded due to the negativity surrounding it. You need to remember that clowns are people too.”
“All of this hurts us because we do such good in the community, but we embrace it, we understand what’s happening,” she continued “That’s what we want to give this information and say: ‘Don’t promote IT, don’t go out on halloween and dress your kids as scary clowns, don’t perpetuate the idea of evil clowning.’”
The club says that their main goal is to spread the message that there’s a huge difference between real clowns and the scary clowns depicted in films like IT. Unfortunately for them, business is drying up as more parents and children have become conditioned to the idea that, well, all clowns should probably be kept away from kids.
All press is good press, so we can only assume Stephen King is smiling right now.
We know Pennywise is.