We're not clowning around when we say this is no laughing matter, professional clowns are painting on a frowny face and it's all to do with the latest adaptation of Stephen King's 'It'.
The teaser trailer was launched last week, and has since broken records for global traffic, making it one of the most hyped teaser trailers, but not everybody was laughing.
An article appearing in Mel Magazine featured comments from several professional clowns, who were less than pleased that the trailer was making the rounds. A performer that goes by the name of "Mr Nick" claimed the film was "ruining business", while another clown, whose identities include "Ringmaster Roger" and "Humpy Pumpy", noticed a significant drop in traffic to his Yelp page around the time of the trailer's release.
This clown fear isn't a new phenomenon, otherwise known as coulrophobia, the fear of clowns has been widely recorded for years. Whether they remind you of death, trigger unhappy memories or are just plain creepy looking, many report an unnatural dislike or fear of what should otherwise be a happy figure. As long as you aren't being haunted by one.
The latest adaptation of "It" stars Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, a demonic shape-shifter who takes the form of a clown and lives in the sewers of a small town. The monster terrorises the children of the community, and is soon linked to the growing list of missing children in the area. Tim Curry starred in the iconic 1990 TV movie adaptation, and his performance has haunted nightmares ever since. The latest adaptation looks to be even more terrifying.
Not only is "It" to blame for an anti-clown bias, but last year saw a rise in clown-related sightings of the creepiest kinds. Beginning in South Carolina with one or two odd reports of clowns hanging around in the woods soon became a terrifying phenomenon around the world, with people reportedly being chased and terrorised by clowns.
In October 2016 a London bookshop was criticised after putting up a "no clowns allowed" sign in their window as a joke. A performer by the name of "Buttons Blammo" labelled the sign as "racist", profiling all clowns in a negative light.
Speaking to Mel Magazine one clown who has performed for two decades lamented: "No one sticks up for a clown. The only thing cooler to dislike is a mime. It's silly and stupid, and I wish people would focus on the good clowns out there."
Sadly, the miming community hasn't spoken in response.
"It" is scheduled to be released in September.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA