Clowns of America International describes their members as "Ambassadors of Joy," but they aren't spreading any joy today with their criticism of FX's American Horror Story: Freak Show, arguing that the show unfairly depicts clowns as demented, terrifying killers.
In a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter, COAI president Glenn Kohlberger condemns "any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or 'clown fear.'"
"Hollywood makes money sensationalizing the norm," Kohlberger a.k.a. Clyde E. Scope said. "They can take any situation no matter how good or pure and turn it into a nightmare."
Kohlberger can be seen below (sans makeup) presenting the COAI Convention's "Best In Clown" Award:
Admittedly, Clyde E. Scope only looks moderately terrifying in the above photo. And he's no match for American Horror Story's Twisty the Clown.
Of course, it's not just the media fabricating these fears out of nowhere. Studies have shown that a significant number of people consider clowns frightening, and that "clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable." This is according to University of Sheffield researcher Dr. Penny Curtis.
Wise, Penny. Very wise. Wait a minute...Penny Wise? That sounds familiar...
Gahh!!! Oh sweet Jesus. That brings back years of repressed sleepover memories. Sorry, COAI. I don't think you're going to win me over on this one.