Since the dawn of time, there’s been a steady parade of McDonald’s mascots that have been guilty of rolling out with a max creep-out factor for children and adults alike. (Howdy, Mac Tonight!) Or in the case of the Sexy Shh! It’s A Secret Edition Hamburglar, it erupts all sorts of confusing feelings. Feelings can sometimes be split on popular spokesclown Ronald McDonald and with the current hysteria over America’s clown influx, the decision has been made for ol’ Ron to go into storage for the next lil’ bit.
Yes, as the country goes berserk over clowns and turns to Insane Clown Posse for guidance, McDonald’s doesn’t want you to think of a clown brandishing a knife when swinging around for a McChicken. (Er, or this either.)
“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.”
Keeping their chalk-faced burger endorser on the sidelines comes at an interesting time for the character. The fast food chain introduced their “hip” new update on Ronald McDonald a couple of years back after some tweaks. Couple that with criticism the company has faced in the past for using a clown to sell burgers to kids and it’s yet another stumbling block for the mascot as it finds its footing in the 21st century.
Hopefully for McDonald’s, this current fad of clowns popping up everywhere won’t be followed up by large purple blobs doing the exact same thing. Mind you, the potential of leaked audio from this commercial might do Grimace zero favors either.