Is Stephen King’s It pro-violence towards clowns?

An abused clown is forced to hide in the sewer in Stephen King’s It

Just like everyone else, we found ourselves in a theater this week to watch the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s It. What we saw was a fairly straightforward mashup of Stand By Me and the soundscape our neighbors manage to conjure up on a daily basis. That is, until the denouement of the film, where we find out the film’s message is that it’s completely fine to beat the shit out of clowns.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Ostensibly It is a movie about a demonic force that terrorizes children in the small town of Derry, Maine. This entity takes on multiple forms throughout the film, opting for a clown guise for the majority of the film. Stephen King has stated in the past this choice was made because kids like clowns, and we suppose showing up as a fucked up mix of claws and, I dunno, eyeballs would make things more difficult for It to draw in its victims.

So far so good, but upon seeing the movie we couldn’t help but wonder: where were the good clown role models in the film? We see a clown appear briefly in a local fair, but even this one gives off a slightly demonic vibe. With so little done to highlight the positive sides of clowns, it’s no surprise the movie gets away with disposing of Pennywise – the clown, not the band – by having him get hit repeatedly by a bunch of children with baseball bats.

Since the violence towards clowns in this movie is completely warranted, we can’t help but fear what effects this will have on the minds of the moviegoers who saw this movie. Without a positive role model to counter that of our evil leper/creepy painting lady clown, can we be sure people will not resort to violence when being encountered by clowns?

Although we enjoyed the movie despite its troubling message and reliance on LOUD NOISES, we can also say our lives will not be affected by its release. The same can not be said for the clown community in our society. First the Stephen King novel vilified their lifestyle. Next came the ’90s miniseries adaptation. Just as they were getting out from under that shadow, this adaptation buries them once again.

We hope we are underestimating the malleability of today’s society. No community should have to worry about their safety when walking the streets. We should all have the choice to be our true selves, and no clowns should have to conform by removing their make-up and absurdly large shoes.

If you or any clowns are in need of help as a result of this movie, get in touch with us. We promise not to meet you in a sewer, armed with baseball bats.

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