BOSTON (CBS) – It probably won’t go down as one of the most significant public protests of our times, but the announcement that New York-area clowns were going to picket a Manhattan movie theater Thursday because they were showing the new Stephen King movie featuring a killer clown certainly did raise some eyebrows.
Real ones, not the painted-on kind.
The protest organizer told the media that the release of the new movie “It,” in which a demon masquerading as a clown emerges from the sewer to terrorize a small town in Maine, had cost him and his fellow clowns business.
“Our hope is to raise enough awareness so when people think of clowns they won’t think of scary murderers but people who dedicate their lives to bringing joy,” he said.
That seems reasonable.
And it raises the prospect of other protests by groups that are unfairly made to seem super-scary by moviemakers.
If you’ve ever seen the classic Hitchcock movie “The Birds,” you know that the birds depicted there as vicious predators have a beef.
The same goes for the rats in the 1972 movie “Ben,” in which pet rats turn violent, as Michael Jackson croons in the background.
And snakes got a bad rap from “Snakes on a Plane,” if you ask me.
And let’s not stop with animals.
Body snatchers have been unfairly maligned by Hollywood not just once, but twice.
And I haven’t felt comfortable about fog since watching 1980s “The Fog,” an hour and 29 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.
Yes, there is plenty of unfairness in the movies worthy of a brisk picketing. But… what’s this?
The clown protest was a hoax designed to promote the movie?
Those clowns were clowning you!
And guess what – so am I.