Clown Controversy: How a Prank Turned Into More

Caleb Kowalewski, Staff Reporter

So far, 2016 has been an ongoing joke with politics being atrocious and the media seemingly exaggerating stories to scare/entertain people, which can ultimately be taken too far.

I would have to say one of the biggest controversies that took the media by storm this year is the “Clown Copycats”, the moment that everyone thought clowns were going to take over America.

“I think that the ‘Clown Controversy’ started on the internet because people made videos trying to be funny, but others ended up being scared,” said Freshman Joey Scheuer.

The first clown sighting that started the whole internet craze was actually in South Carolina by a little boy and his mother (Donna Arnold) who saw clowns trying to coax the kid into a broken down house, according to

People took it as a joke and wore the clown suit themselves to get a good laugh out of their friends and to get attention by the media. It was a perfect storm, especially for some “Prankster YouTube channels” as they followed along with it.

“Just like with any situation, it was meant to create havoc rather than direct threats,” said Officer Sarah Wirth, MHS police liaison.

It’s a bit weird to think that now real clown businesses might be looked down upon since many people now have “Coulrophobia”, the sudden fear of clowns.

I, myself, have a mild case of it since clowns did freak me out a little when I was little, but now I think almost nothing of them until recently.

Many people whose job is to be a clown is actually being affected– people cancelling clown party orders, according to, the World Clown Association website. They took a big hit and plan to rebound from it, as they demonstrated as a guest in Dr. Carole’s podcast episode “Bring in the Real Clowns”. They talked about how this is actually affecting them and that people should really see clowns for what they are– a form of entertainment.

Because of the huge pandemonium following the clown figure, will clowns ever really be viewed the same as entertainment anymore?

“I personally think that clowns are weird. I have never particularly enjoyed clowns, and I have always found them creepy,” said Scheuer.

I believe that clowns have always been scary, even at a circus. This, of course, gives them a bad reputation, but it honestly doesn’t affect me.

However, I do feel sad for those who are clowns in order to make a living. Yes, I think it was wrong for people to terrorize others as clowns and to affect the clown business, but it’s to be expected given how clowns are portrayed in movies.  After all, a new clown movie– the remake of “It”– is coming Sept. 2017, and unfortunately, the clown business will be affected again soon.