Time for clowns to pack up, and move out

Avery Hulong

The current season of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” has been featuring Twisty the Clown as the newest star of our nightmares, and it is causing a strain on the world of professional clowns. These entertainers are fearing their reputations are at stake, but they shouldn’t be surprised. Clowns have been haunting our dreams for years.

Clowns of America International is America’s largest professional clown club, and they claim the popular FX show is contributing to coulrophobia or fear of clowns.

Twisty the Clown is definitely not the type of clown you want to hire for your kid’s next birthday party, so it makes sense why the professional clowns are upset. However, it should not be a surprise to them that “American Horror Story” would eventually take this direction in their show.

The negative depiction of clowns has been prevalent in Hollywood for decades. The movie “It”, based on Stephen King’s book, began traumatizing moviegoers in 1990. The infamous Joker has been terrorizing Gotham City for years. And although he may not seem like a huge threat, we can never forget Krusty the Clown, “The Simpsons” own smoking, drinking and miserable neighborhood clown who sulks all day and leaves no hope for those who may seek out a clowning career in the future.

In addition to the media’s dark portrayal of clowns, art, theater and even children’s toys use the imagery of clowns to create a fearful atmosphere. Every Halloween, haunted houses across the nation are sure to include a threatening clown or jester lurking within the maze. Angry clown masks fill up the shelves at costume stores this time of year across the nation.

When members of Clowns of America made the decision to enter the realm of professional clowning, they should have recognized the job position already had its longstanding reputation of being a “fear instigator.”

Mark S. Allen of Good Day Sacramento seems to agree: “The clown organization should be more concerned that it’s headed to extinction and be thankful that any attention (even negative) is being given to the art form.” It is a very good point.

Allen also brings up the fact that even the IRS reported the number of people claiming to be “full-time clowns” is dwindling as is the demand for professional clown services. Obviously, some of these clowns are recognizing the need for a new career path.

However, we have to hand it to these dear and delusional professional clowns. Despite all of the terrible portrayals of clowns in media, they are still fighting to find their place as respectful entertainers in a fearful society.

Sorry, clowns. It does not seem like you will be winning this one.

As much as it pains us to see a group of people repressed by the power of media, it is time for these clowns to wake up.

Clown fear is nothing new. There is a career in terror and Hollywood horror films, but until they cash in on this particular perspective on clowns, they may never find another birthday gig to perpetuate their fantasy.

“American Horror Story” is horrifying and awesome, and clearly isn’t going anywhere; these clowns need to deal with it and move on.