Sorry, folks! McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald is cutting back on his appearances amid the creepy clown saga. The fast-food chain released a statement about its decision on Monday, October 10.
Ronald McDonald was first portrayed by Today show vet Willard Scott in the ’60s, with several others taking over throughout the years. The fictional character interacts with customers by attending community events and visiting children in hospitals.
“McDonald’s and franchisees in local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities and as such are being thoughtful with respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events for the time being,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey told CNN via email.
“This does not mean that there will be no appearances by Ronald McDonald,” she continued. “But that we are being thoughtful as to Ronald McDonald’s participation in various community events at this time.”
Scary clowns have been terrorizing people for the past few months. There have been sightings in more than 30 states and dozens of videos have gone viral. On Saturday, a person dressed as a clown was filmed clinging to the back of a city bus in Detroit. The video garnered more than 500,000 views in less than 24 hours.
The epidemic is so alarming that police have stepped in, with departments across the country releasing statements that the pranks are no laughing matter.
Even late-night TV hosts have been reporting on the issue. Stephen Colbert teased that it’s giving the “innocent” clowns a bad rap, and James Corden improvised a song about the issue with Stevie Nicks during The Late Late Show.
Watch footage about clown sightings in the video above.
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