Ronald McDonald is one clown that people aren’t likely to see around anytime soon.
On Tuesday, McDonald’s Corporation said that the company will be "thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events" due to the "current climate around clown sightings in communities," according to the Associated Press.
This comes after a slew of clown sightings have been reported across the country. The New York Times has reported that schools have been closed in Ohio, at least 12 arrests have been made and a 16-year-old boy was fatally stabbed after a confrontation with a prowler wearing a clown mask.
Ronald McDonald has been the Golden Arches’ mascot since 1963, and had steadily been vanishing from the fast food chain’s advertisements anyway. A 2011 Time article described the move as a way to distance the brand from its fast-food roots in order to adopt a more health-conscious branding approach. The chain’s latest ad, made by Leo Burnett, focuses on real people who are eating the brand’s new chicken nuggets made without artificial preservatives.
The company recently consolidated its business, at nearly $1 billion, with Omnicom Group, leaving Leo Burnett and Publicis Groupe.