While scary movie fans can't wait for the release of It, a horror movie about a killer clown that terrorizes a small town, those who make a living acting goofy and tying balloon animals at kids' birthday parties aren't exactly thrilled.
They say that the film has stirred up a lot of bad press for real-life clowns, and it's making it hard for them to land jobs.
In fact, the problem is so significant that the World Clown Association has put out a PR kit to help separate the figure in the horror movie from the real-life clowns who bring laughter and cheer to family-friendly events. In a statement, they wrote, "Just as a haunted house event may have a 'doctor' wearing surgical gear, carrying a bloody chainsaw, people need to understand that this character is NOT a real doctor. He is a person portraying an evil character in order to scare people. In the same way, people dressed as horror clowns are not 'real clowns.' They are taking something innocent and wholesome and perverting it to create fear in their audience."
Stephen King, creator of It, has gotten hate of his own. He tweeted:
The clowns are pissed at me. Sorry, most are great. BUT...kids have always been scared of clowns. Don't kill the messengers for the message.
Between that and the scary clown attacks last year where people in clown garb were trying to lure children into the woods, it's a tough time for the industry, to say the least.
Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, and others.