THR reports that a number of professional clowns are losing gigs because of coulrophobia (fear of clowns) inspired by the shapeshifting entity, who most commonly takes the form of "a cross between Bozo and Clarabell".
President of the World Clown Association Pam Moody said the recent spate of coulrophobia - and last year's series of 'evil clown' pranks - began with King's creation. "It all started with the original IT," she notes. "That introduced the concept of this character. It's a science-fiction character. It's not a clown and has nothing to do with pro clowning."
"People had school shows and library shows that were canceled," Moody told THR. "That’s very unfortunate. The very public we're trying to deliver positive and important messages to aren't getting them."
Some of the blame can be laid at the feet of Tim Curry, whose portrayal of Pennywise in the 1990 IT miniseries was so terrifying it scarred a generation. The WCA has braced itself for the upcoming film starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise by releasing a press kit to prepare working clowns for the movie coming out - 'WCA Stand on Scary Clowns!!'