Ronald McDonald Is the Latest Victim of the ‘Creepy Clown’ Epidemic

Beloved fast-food mascot will be keeping his red-wigged head down for a while

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The clown war just got serious. Especially for something that revolves around clowns.

Beloved McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald is in danger of being pushed into semi-exile, due to the rash of creepy clown sightings and incidents that have plagued the nation in recent weeks.

The fast-food giant said Tuesday that it will be “thoughtful” about Ronald’s community appearances, presumably meaning that the red-nosed icon will be showing up less frequently.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

The clown-faced character has been representing the fast-food company in various incarnations since 1963. But that decades-long run of greasepaint-caked ambassadorship has now been disrupted by an epidemic.

The public has been inundated with media reports of “creepy” clown sightings and incidents involving people dressed as clowns in recent weeks, though some reports have turned out to be hoaxes. As recently as Monday, a handful of clown-related incidents were reported, including an incident in North Carolina in which a hatchet-wielding man in clown makeup was arrested for trespassing on a store’s property.

Somebody better get Officer Big Mac on the case right away.