- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The country’s biggest clown club is accusing the hit FX television drama “American Horror Story” of giving clowns a bad name and promoting “clown fear” in it’s new series that centers on a killer costumed character that stalks couples with scissors.

“Hollywood makes money sensationalizing the norm,” Glenn Kohlberger, president of Clowns of America International, told The Hollywood Reporter. “They can take any situation no matter how good or pure and turn it into a nightmare.”

“American Horror Story: Freak Show,” starring Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates, revolves around Twisty the Clown, played by John Carroll Lynch, who terrorizes children and imprisons them in an old school bus.

“We do not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or ‘clown fear,’ ” said Mr. Kohlberger, whose clown name is Clyde D. Scope, THR reported.

Coulrophobia is a popular fear that pranksters exploit every Halloween. There have been reported sightings in the California cities of Bakersfield, Wasco and Delano of menacing clowns lurking after dark holding weapons like knives and machetes.

“There’s a natural phobia of clowns,” said Sgt. Joe Grubbs of the Bakersfield, California, Police Department, THR reported.

Mr. Kohlberger said he doesn’t understand how something so innocent could be turned into something so evil.

“Clowns to killers,” he lamented. “I choose not to play into any of it. The more attention we give it just gives it more fuel.”

Clowns of America International membership is shrinking, with 2,500 clowns, down from 3,500 in 2004, THR reported.

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