Watch CBS News

World Clown Association Complains The Movie 'IT' Is Hurting Real Clowns

By: Evan Jankens

The first time I saw the movie 'IT' I must have been 13 and at the time it changed my perception of clowns. They weren't so cute anymore.

Those days are long gone, but come September 8 when the new version of 'IT' hits theaters we will have an entire new generation scared of clowns.

Now Stephen King has to defend himself because clowns are mad at him. What's scarier than a clown? One who's mad at you. He tweeted the following in April: "The clowns are pissed at me. Sorry, most are great. have always been scared of clowns. Don't kill the messengers for the message."

The clown that will be scaring kids and adults this fall is named Pennywise. Because of this clown in a fictional movie, the World Clown Association president is upset and blames the movie for the clown industry taking a hit. Before you judge these clowns, walk a mile in their very large shoes.

According to

Count Moody as one of those irked clowns King references in his tweet. "It all started with the original It," she notes. "That introduced the concept of this character. It's a science-fiction character. It's not a clown and has nothing to do with pro clowning."

The industry has taken a hit thanks to all this "scary clown" business. "People had school shows and library shows that were canceled," says Moody. "That's very unfortunate. The very public we're trying to deliver positive and important messages to aren't getting them."

And the backlash has affected the legit clowning world in other ways. One WCA member arrived early for a children's birthday party recently and waited outside in her parked car.

The World Clown Association even put out their stand on scary clowns.

Here are some of the better lines:

"Please understand, just because someone wears a rubber Halloween mask, that does not make one a clown! The horror movie character, "Jason," wears a hockey goalie mask. But, people would be mistaken if they actually thought he was a hockey player! We disavow and relationship with these "horror characters."

"It is true that various horror clown portrayals work against our goal."

For a business that is literally based on clowning around, they sure do take themselves seriously. Thankfully, they sent a press release instead of holding a press conference -- That could have become a media circus.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.