© LightRocket via Getty Images
June 22, 2017

Despite the recent fervor over creepy clown sightings, hasn’t the general consensus for years been that clowns are creepy? Serial killer John Wayne Gacy performed as a clown (and painted pictures of them). The evil eponymous character in Stephen King’s best-selling novel It took the form of a clown. And then of course there’s the Insane Clown Posse with their frightening level of commercial success. Despite all this, Ronald McDonald – the leading man of the McDonaldland gang – has always gotten a bit of a pass, maybe because we feel inherently sorry for a dude whose best friends are a giant purple blob and a mayor with a cheeseburger for a head. 

But even though Ronald has spent decades separating himself from his creepy clown counterparts, McDonald’s has decided that now is not the time to be sending out its makeup-covered mascot for any additional appearances. According to the AP, the burger chain has announced it will be “thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events” as a result of the “current climate around clown sightings in communities.” It’s nice that McDonald’s is thinking about the community, but doesn’t such a public proclamation potentially increase the risk of Hamburglar-related incidents? 

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Still, jokes aside, limiting Ronald McDonald appearances probably won’t have any effect on the spate of creepy clown sightings either way. Ronald McDonald is a pretty distinct clown. If he’s posing for photos in front of a fast food restaurant, you probably don’t have to worry. On the other hand, if a clown is trying to lure you into the woods with French fries, you’re probably not going to be like, “Oh, it’s Ronald. And here I was thinking this could be a bad situation.” 

That said, anytime we get fewer clowns on the streets – fast food mascots or otherwise – it’s probably for the best. Now if only we can get Burger King to dump their even creepier The Burger King mascot again. Then we’ll be making some serious strides.

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