John Nelson, a professional clown and co-runner of Clowns in Town, told New York City's NBC 4 that the film has led to a number of birthday party cancellations in recent months. Nelson says other clowns are experiencing a drop in business because Pennywise from It makes clowns seem like the stuff of nightmares. There's a worry that the film (and its eventual sequel) will affect the long-term livelihoods of professional clowns.
The solution? Nelson and other NYC clowns are planning a rally/protest in front of the Union Square Regal Cinema on Thursday night. As Nelson explained to NBC 4, "Our hope is to raise enough awareness so when people think of clowns they won't think of scary murderers but people who dedicate their lives to bringing joy."
I mean, who would possibly find a sudden and unexpected gathering of clowns scary? Turns out roughly 2% of the adult population according to a Smithsonian magazine article cited by NBC 4. Other segments of the adult population may have differing opinions on clowns, possibly because of Harley Quinn, the Gathering of the Juggalos, and DeviantArt.
New Yorkers who suffer from coulrophobia, you have been warned.