The World Clown Association issues statement to fight against negative stigma after release of 'It'

How did the once innocent, playful concept of a clown go from a character often sought after for childrens’ birthday parties and festivities become one synonymous with horror and terror?

Per most things these days, blame the mainstream media.

SEE ALSO: Target pulls clown masks from stores

From portrayals as murderous and terrorizing in shows like "American Horror Story" and movies like "Suicide Squad," the scary clown archetype is, sadly, nothing new. And at the most recent forefront of this anti-clown epidemic is the reboot of Stephen King’s infamous “It," which features a terrifying clown named Pennywise who feeds on the fears of a Maine town’s youth by literally eating them alive.

But while most are able to separate fantasy from reality, it may not necessarily be so easy for everyone to disentangle the “scary clown” persona from the real life clowns trying to make a living out of entertaining — and it’s costing many of them their jobs.

Clown phobia, known as coulrophobia in technical terms, seems to be sweeping the nation at record-high levels, showing devastating consequences for real-life clowns trying to continue to make a living.

Pam Moody, World Clown Association President, told The Hollywood Reporter

“[Professional clowns] 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."

The WCA has issued what its calling a “press kit” in response to the massive negative stigma surrounding the clown community as of late.

The statement is meant to help clowns deal with the inevitable backlash they’ll face following the release of “It”, even calling out the movie specifically in one paragraph:

“We understand that some people enjoy the "horror genre" of entertainment, but we find that many people are confronted by images of horror characters (impersonating clowns) and are startled by them...which is obviously the goal of these horror characters. In my opinion, these horror characters are not clowns. Even the character in the movie ‘It’ should be understood to be a fantasy character – not a true clown.”

Horror king and author of "It", Stephen King, has even weighed in on the clown-trauma-drama (copyright?), clapping back at the clowns who seem to be particularly pissed off with his representation of their culture:

Oh baby, it's getting heated in here!

Last year’s influx of evil and armed clowns running through cities and subway stations holding knives and other weapons has made the clown’s of this country particularly worried about this month’s release of “It,”  with Moody even noting that last year, clowns were "really blindsided” by the violent sightings and encounters.

Still, the WCA has faith that the clown community will prosper and overcome the bad press and preconceived notions of horror and terror:

“It is true that various horror clown portrayals work against our goal. We hope our audience realizes that there are different categories in entertainment. We stay on the positive side of things providing fun, grated, child-friendly entertainment. We also recommend that young children not be exposed to horror movies which are intended for mature audiences.”

RELATED: 7 inspirational movies for entrepreneurs 

8 PHOTOS
Inspirational movies for entrepreneurs
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Inspirational movies for entrepreneurs

The Social Network

Based on the true story of Facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates and co-founders, this movie shows us how one idea can go from a thought in casual conversation to a world-dominating platform.

This film also brings to light the drama and behind-the-scenes tensions that arise when setting out to begin a new business or venture. We learn through Zuckerberg's faults in the movie that you must stay cognizant of your actions and the way that you treat people, or you may damage relationships with those closest to you. 

Photo credit: Facebook

Rocky

If this picture queues the iconic theme song to start playing in your head, you're not alone. Rocky is the ultimate underdog story, one that can inspire even the most experienced of entrepreneurs.

When being called up to fight world champion Apollo Creed, Rocky sees an opportunity and does everything he can to make the most of it.

Through physical strength, Rocky exemplifies true mental strength that has us all rooting for him and the people, quite literally, in his corner. 

Photo credit: Facebook

Jerry Maguire

In a classic awakening of the conscience, sports agent Jerry McGuire decides to write a letter to his entire company about how the hunger for deals and a profit are making it easy for everyone to lose sight of who they are.

This gets McGuire fired, and he must start his own business. With only one star football player under his management, McGuire learns what it really means to love what you do while still being able to sustain an income and sense of morality. 

Photo credit: Facebook

Forrest Gump

This classic has so much to teach us about believing in ourselves, believing in others, and how there is literally no one who can tell you what you're capable of doing other than yourself. 

As someone who's mentally disadvantaged, Forrest lives a life that's anything but limited and does it all with a smile. His determination is admirable, and at the very least, this movie will remind you to never give up on the things you want the most. Mental fortitude is the most important thing.

Photo credit: Facebook

Legally Blonde

Elle Woods is the girl you can't help but root for, right from the opening scene at the start of this movie. After getting her heart broken by her long-term boyfriend (whom she thought would soon be her fiancé), she learns that he'll be attending Harvard Law school in the fall.

Determined to both get him back and prove to him she's more than just a dumb blonde, Elle works harder than she's ever worked before (with the help of everyone she knows and loves), gets accepted to Harvard and finds herself on the defendant side of a high profile court case that forever changes her life and career.

Elle teaches us how to pool our resources and connections to get to our goals. The film also reminds us about how important friends and family are to have as a support system when you're taking on an endeavor that most people expect you to fail at.

Plus, she shows us that the seemingly impossible can become possible if you're willing to smile through it (and maybe if you put on a little pink!)

Photo credit: Facebook

Charlotte's Web

A classic tale of friendship and trust, Charlotte's Web will always inevitably give you all the feels. It reminds us all that by being kind and by simply being someone's friend, you can make all the difference.

The people who find the most success and get to where they need to be are the people who care deeply for others and expect nothing in return.

The film, as does the novel, can make anyone see that the relationships we build along the way become the best investments that we make.

Photo credit: Facebook

The Intern 

This 2015 movie starring Robert DiNero and Anne Hathaway is feel-good film about a 70-year-old retiree named Ben Whittaker who, recently widowed, is looking to come out of retirement for something fun to do. When he sees a posting for am"senior internship", Ben believes he's the perfect fit.

Ben works under the owner of a fashion website (played by Hathaway) and the two form an incredible, honest bond. Their friendship shows that the most successful partnerships and ventures come from the most unexpected places. 

It's a nice reminder that hard work, positive mentality and kindness will always be in style, no matter how old or young you are. 

Photo credit: Facebook

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