Prior to the release of the film, the World Clown Association expressed its concern over this new take on Stephen King’s novel as it will surely trigger a new wave of coulrophobia – that is: a fear of clowns. Now, Muschietti has opened up about this controversy and his feelings towards the film upsetting members of the professional clown community.
In an interview with TMZ (via Cinemablend), Muschietti was asked about his feelings toward real-life clowns being against the film, who argue that the portrayal of an evil clown such as Pennywise affects their image and job. Muschietti explained that clowns are actually benefiting from the publicity of the film, and even shared that a clown has been asking him for advice.
“Tell me about it. Yeah, I have a clown that is harassing me – eh, not harassing me. Look, to be fair, he’s a good guy, but he’s been asking me, ‘Why would I do this?’ I was very polite and said like, ‘Well, kids are scared of clowns’. I think, if anything, clowns are benefiting from the publicity. Clown fear is coming back, but you know there’s scary clowns and there’s nice clowns. So they should think about what kind of clown they should be, right? I mean, if they scare kids they scare kids because they are scary.”
Between the portrayal of evil clowns not only on the big screen but also on TV shows such as American Horror Story, and incidents like people dressed up as clowns lurking in forests and near schools (as it happened last year), the World Clown Association came up with a guide for their colleagues, reminding their community that their art is to be treasured and enjoyed – and evil portrayals are just fantasy.
Kids are commonly scared of clowns whether they have been exposed to pop culture’s evil portrayals of clowns or not – as Muschietti explained, some clowns are just scary, often unintentionally. On the other hand, both clowns and parents should keep in mind that, while Pennywise’s image is that of a killer clown, it is, in fact, a shape-shifting entity and not exactly a clown.
Ultimately, it’s up to parents to ensure their children understand that characters such as Pennywise are only fictional and can do no harm to them, and the clown community should also understand that kids are almost naturally scared of clowns, whether they are familiar with pop culture’s evil clowns or not.
Source: TMZ (via Cinemablend)
- IT (2017) release date: Sep 08, 2017