They call the "killer clown" stereotype scary
A pair of professional clowns have appeared on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ to discuss the potential negative impact of the new IT movie , out last week, on their career.
Rob Bowker, who represents Clowns International, and Andy Davis, from the World Clowns Association, explained to presenters Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that not only are they not fans of the film, but that they feel the ‘scary clown’ stereotype is overplayed, damaging and “lazy”.
When asked what they thought of Pennywise, the clown character in IT, the pair both immediately replied that he is “not a clown.” Bowker continued, “‘IT’ isn’t a clown. It’s a horror movie and he has to feed every twenty-seven years… he morphs into many different beings, the clown being one of them.” He then added that the film had “nothing to do with clowning and everything to do with a cheap Hollywood movie that’s taking millions of pounds because they don’t need branding, they don’t need Tom Cruise. The guy playing the clown; I’ve never heard of him.”
The pair were then quick to defend their profession, praising the “many different types of clowns” their respective bodies represent, including “hospital clowns, church clowns, party clowns, circus clowns and theatre clowns.”
Last year, a ‘scary clown epidemic’ saw many individuals dressing up as clowns to taunt members of the public.
When asked if they encounter individuals with coolrophobia, the fear of clowns and masks regularly, the pair replied, “very, very rarely.”
“When I’m out working it tends to be that people will drop their eyes down or they’ll move away from me,” Davis explained. “They certainly, if they’ve got a fear of clowns, don’t come up to me. I don’t like spiders. I keep away from spiders.”
However, Bowker criticised the media for seeking scary clown stories, calling it “lazy journalism.” “Newspapers call us all the time around Halloween. They’re looking for that quote.”
Davis added that parents, as well as films like IT, were perhaps to blame for continuing the stereotype. “That word, ‘scared’. When parents say ‘Oh don’t be scared of the clowns’, I mean, why should the child be scared of the clowns? Then the first thing the child is going to think about is being scared of the clowns.”
Last week upon the film’s release, an all-clown screening of the film was shown in Austin.