Stephen King’s It is famous for introducing an entire generation to terrifying clowns. The story’s supernatural killer clown, Pennywise, has been torturing dreams for a quarter century, and is due to get a makeover in an upcoming Hollywood “re-imagining,” due to hit theaters in 2017.
But King himself has surfaced on social media to defend clowns, asking the nation’s killer clown pranksters to cool it before real clowns get hurt.
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
King also told his hometown paper, the Bangor Daily News, that he thinks the national clown hysteria is merely a passing phenomenon.
“I suspect it’s a kind of low-level hysteria, like Slender Man, or the so-called Bunny Man, who purportedly lurked in Fairfax County, Va., wearing a white hood with long ears and attacking people with a hatchet or an axe,” King said.
Indeed, plenty of professional clowns are speaking out against the rash of “creepy clown” sightings that have spread across the United States and now into Canada. Arizona clowns have even organized a “Clown Lives Matter” march, to demonstrate that clowns are to be loved and not feared.
They have a right to be worried for their safety: Thursday, a man dressed as a clown was severely beaten when he decided to creep on the wrong group of people, and in Pennsylvania, one city official warned that people dressed as clowns are risking life and limb. Penn State University nearly rioted earlier this week on news of clowns. And clown sightings even have New Haven, Conn. banning clown costumes.
It’s a pretty terrible time to be a non-creepy clown.