Fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s said Tuesday its clown mascot Ronald McDonald will be keeping a low profile after the recent global trend of disturbing and sometimes criminal “creepy clown” sightings.
The company said it was being “thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events.” The company did not give details regarding how often its mascot makes appearances and how they are subject to change.
“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.
“This does not mean that there will be no appearances by Ronald McDonald, but that we are being thoughtful as to Ronald McDonald's participation in various community events at this time,” she added.
The U.S. has been witness to a series of disturbing “creepy clown” sightings where people dressed as clowns tried to lure children into the woods. These sighting began in August and have since spread to other parts of the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. These sightings led to over a dozen arrests and even school closures.
McDonald’s may be trying to stay away from these clowns but one such “creepy clown” came straight to a McDonald’s outlet in Australia. Reports said people spotted a male clown brandishing his axe at cars leaving the restaurant’s drive-through Sunday. Authorities arrested a 23-year-old man over the incident.
“We understand that some people are getting involved for a bit of fun, however this arrest is a timely reminder that this behavior is not amusing, and in many cases, it is criminal behavior,” Victoria police said.