This is part of a series of articles to combat coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), educate the uninformed public about the consequences of masquerading as “scary clowns”, and defend #REALCLOWNS. CLICK HERE to read the other articles on the “creepy clown” stereotype
The “scary clown” craze hasn’t died down yet. The longer this goes on, the worse it will be for #REALCLOWNS.
Even Ronald McDonald himself has gone on a sabbatical.
Who are the real victims?
I sympathize with the folks who have been terrorized in person and online by creeps. But beyond that, I already see more unintended side-effects of these buzzkills who think it is fun “performance art” to scare innocent folks.
It spreads the growing distrust of clowns.
We need to speak out.
I’ve heard some clowns say “Let’s just ignore it; it’s a fad right now. It will soon fade away. Besides, it’s not hurting business.”
Maybe it’s not hurting YOUR business in particular — yet — but it has already started to hurt others. Some of my friends in the Carolinas haven’t had the phone ring all week. Clowns are now afraid to get into their makeup and costume prior to driving to their events because they don’t want to freak out the public.
This is not exaggeration.
Soon the for-hire clowns will have to close up shop.
After that, it will be the volunteer clowns. These big-hearted folks who spread smiles on their own time and spending their own money. They will no longer be welcomed to perform at day cares, fundraisers, nursing homes and hospitals because “people are afraid of clowns.”
It’s already happening:
- A woman emailed me last week worried about how to respond to the hospital where she and her daughter have been volunteering for 12 years. The hospital asked her not to come as a clown, since they are worried about residents being frightened.
- A fellow clown arrived a little early to her birthday party gig, and so she sat in her car to wait until her scheduled time. Within minutes, police showed up and question her about her reasons for being there. Someone in the neighborhood had called the cops on this “suspicious clown”.
- One of my friends who runs a non-profit which teaches clowning to inner-city teenagers called me the other day with a similar conversation. The care facility where he takes his teens for real-world training with residents requested that they not come any more because of the recent clown scare.
- Many of my long-time clown customers have been sharing their concerns with me about business being down.
- Clowns are afraid to be seen in public. They fear for their own safety.
We need to speak out. We need to say something.
You know what I’d like to say if I could talk to those criminals? I’d tell them:
“You know your grandmother in the nursing home? The one you don’t visit? The only time she smiles is when the clowns come to sing her favorite songs with her. Guess what? Her nursing home will no longer let clowns in. Congratulations. That was the result of your one night of cheap thrills. Was it worth it?”
The real victims in the long-run will be the families, children, and senior citizens who will never be entertained by a friendly clown because organizations and facilities will stop calling the clowns to come.
Is that bleak future worth your staying silent right now?
What Can You Do?
You can help reverse the tide of these “scary clowns” by being a “good clown” by being a “real clown”. Keep making people smile and laugh. Show up in your kid-friendly costume and make-up; be gentle and understanding. Be willing to accept the fact that a few folks may be hesitant, but 90% of them will be overjoyed to see you! Put your happy face out there to combat all the negative images of those creepy clown masks.
Keep doing your best. Don’t go into hiding.
Thank you for defending our art and livelihood.
I’ve tried to post as much as possible on Facebook and Twitter with links to these articles. I hope they help to educate and elucidate.
When I post I include the hashtag #RealClowns.
I want it to spread. Please use it on all your social media posts! Let’s splash photos of FUN and FRIENDLY clowns all over the internet to cover up the images of scary clowns.
It’s very EASY way for you to make a statement if you are on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.). Take one of your happy clown club photos and put #RealClowns on it. If you don’t have Photoshop, there are plenty of free apps and meme-making websites out there.
Post it online and be sure to include the hashtag #RealClowns in the text.
Let’s blanket the internet with photos of HAPPY clowns to cover up all those yucky scary pictures of the imposters.
- Make improvements to your performance and be better than before.
- Post photos of your fun clown friends with the hashtag #REALCLOWNS on social media
- Be a part of our letter-writing campaign to keep scary clown masks & costumes out of stores
- Hand out our cards educating people what a REAL CLOWN is (free download)
Randy Christensen, President of the World Clown Association, posted a wonderful video encouraging clowns to keep on working.
Below is a letter he sent out the WCA members, and it really helps put things into perspective and gives a fresh view of current events.
Click on the image to enlarge it for reading:
Since first posting the my first article a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been contacted by other news outlets and reporters. Below are links to these stories. I will continue to post more as they are published. The oldest links are first:
Cities 97 Keri & Greg Morning Show: http://cities97.iheart.com/onair/keri-greg-in-the-morning-48249/send-in-the-clowns-keri-noble-15186759/
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-clowns-distraught-over-creepy-clown-craze/39
Pilot Tribune: http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/story/2350111.html
Yale Daily News: http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2016/11/15/not-that-kind-of-clown/
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