Clown sightings have inspired professional clowns to form Clown Lives Matter, because this is what 2016 has come to.
ABC15 Arizona reports the march will take place in Tuscon Oct. 15. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as a clown or don a mask. “This is a peaceful way to show clowns are not psycho killers.,” the flyer reads. “We want the public to feel safe, and not be afraid. So come out, bring the family, meet a clown and get a hug!” Created by Snuggles the Clown a.k.a Jordan Jones, the professional believes his reputation is tainted over the viral craze. Speaking to Fox 43 in Pennyslavaina, Jones says his family wants him to quit his job over fears he will be arrested or harmed by clown hunters.
“Everyone took this as a joke but it’s really become serious now, and I just want all these teenagers to know that it’s not a game anymore,” he said Tuesday (Oct. 4) You’re ruining my job and other actors around the world. I went outside for a photo shoot and people were driving by taking pictures saying they are going to call the cops because they profiled me as one of the clowns in the woods.”
Since Monday (Oct.3), dozens of reports have poured over social media of clowns lingering around pedestrians with bats in several states across the country. Most of the incidents have turned out to be hoaxes while some have resulted in criminal charges. This week, over 500 students from Penn State University gathered to hunt for clowns while other colleges have issued out warnings. In New York, a teenager was chased out of the subway by a man in a clown mask who tried to stop other passengers from boarding the train. Officials are taking the events seriously as The White House addressed the incident and the NYPD assured residents not to panic over clown sightings.
Rich Hanley, a journalism professor and social media expert at Quinnipiac University, tells AP the clown incidents are helping people ignore a rough year filled with political and racial turmoil. “If anything, it’s just distracting us from the real ordinary threats that we face in our everyday lives,” he said. He compared the tactic to “swatting,” the act of falsely reporting a bomb threat, murder or hostage-taking incident at someone else’s address. When it comes to Snuggles, the clown just wants the pranks to stop. “I think it’s really negative,” he said. “It’s becoming very, very serious and I don’t think a lot of people know how serious it’s becoming.”
Take a look at his story below.