Back in April, shortly after the first IT trailer surfaced, we reported that real clowns were quite angry over it, with one professional clown revealing that this highly-anticipated adaptation will be “bad for clowns,” while another claimed the movie is, “ruining our business.” With just a few weeks left until this IT movie hits theaters, another report has surfaced, claiming that several clowns are facing some occupational hardships due to this movie, with several gigs being canceled as the marketing ramps up for IT, which depicts a terrifying clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) that preys on innocent children.
Shortly after the trailer debuted in April, Stephen King himself sent out a tweet where he acknowledged that “the clowns are pissed at me” for IT, where the title character also appears in a number of different forms, such as a mummy, a werewolf and even a fountain of blood. However, it is the sadistic clown Pennywise that has become the most iconic over the years, with the author adding in his April tweet that “kids have always been scared of clowns,” a condition known as “coulrophobia,” even before he wrote IT. With the movie adaptation arriving September 8, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with World Clown Association president Pam Moody, who admitted that the association wasn’t ready for the rash of clown sightings that happened last year.
“Last year we were really blindsided. We’ve since created a press kit to prepare clowns for the movie coming out.”
The press kit, which is entitled, “WCA Stand on Scary Clowns” recommended that young children should not be exposed to horror movies such as IT, which stars Bill Skarsgard as the nefarious Pennywise the Clown. Pam Moody performs as Sparky the Firefighter Clown in Des Moines, Iowa, where she teaches fire safety practices to local children in that area. She revealed that there have been several instances where clowns have lost their gigs due to the the scary clown epidemic. Here’s what she had to say below.
“People had school shows and library shows that were canceled. That’s very unfortunate. The very public we’re trying to deliver positive and important messages to aren’t getting them.”
Moody also placed some of the blame on the creepy clown stigma on the parents, who often “thrust their child” towards the clown without even being aware that their kids might be apprehensive of these clowns. Still, years before this adaptation, the 1990 mini-series starring Tim Curry as Pennywise was credited with creating a generation’s worth of coulrophobia cases due to his indellible performance as Pennywise. Here’s what film blogger Scott Wampler had to say about how that helped foster the widespread fear of clowns.
“For my generation, It launched untold cases of coulrophobia. It was the first exposure that of lot of kids my age had to horror movies. Parents weren’t taking their kids to see scary movies, but they let them watch It on TV because it aired in primetime.”
While we won’t know until September 8 how this IT remake will fare in theaters, there has been buzz building for months, particularly when the first trailer shattered trailer view records, with a whopping 197 million views in the first 24 hours. IT will also be the first of two movies, with this movie focusing on the portions of Stephen King’s novel about a group of young kids known as The Loser’s Club, who encounter Pennywise as kids, with the second movie reuniting these characters as adults, as they must face IT once again.