Poor Ronald McDonald. First, millennials forced the McDonald’s mascot to undergo a complete makeover. Now, creepy clowns are threatening his very survival.
The mysterious clown sightings that have recently plagued some parts of the country have led McDonald’s corporate to issue a mandate: No more Ronald McDonald events for a while. At least, until this clown thing gets resolved.
“McDonald's and franchisees in local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities and as such are being thoughtful with respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events for the time being," said McDonald's spokesperson Terri Hickey in a statement.
CNN reports that Ronald will still make appearances, but the company is being “thoughtful” in how it handles his participation in local communities.
The first rash of creepy clown sightings occurred in August in Greenville, South Carolina, where residents reported seeing a group of clowns in the woods. Eventually, sightings were reported elsewhere (recently even across the pond), causing creepy clown hysteria throughout the country.
Even non-creepy clowns — if you believe there is such a thing — have been affected by the panic. Some professional clowns told the BBC that they fear for their lives following reports of residents firing shots into the woods in Greenville. Donning the red nose might not just be creepy for others, it could be downright dangerous for the clowns themselves.
Of course, some of the clowns have been arrested for their creepy behavior, but most seem to be doing little more than giving people the heeby-jeebies. Which, let’s be honest, Ronald McDonald has been doing for years.
• A Tear For a Clown: Ronald McDonald to Limit Appearances After Clown Scares [CNN]
• All McDonald’s Coverage [E]