At first they came for the clowns, and I said nothing:
Then McDonald’s terminated its regional Ronald McDonald program at the end of last year, though it’s vague about the reasons for the move…
One former Ronald, who believes their number was as high as 300 nationally, said he earned $64,000 in 2016, plus a $2,000 expense account, a car, and health and dental insurance, a fortune in clowning.
Now, that sort of income and security may be disappearing.
“Young people have not been excited by clowns,” says Richard “Junior” Snowberg, a World Clown Association founder and a retired professor [sic]. “They’re more excited by entertainment on screens.”
…The World Clown Association has 2,400 members, about half its peak membership in the 1990s.
I believe roboclowns are not to blame, nor is it trade with China:
“I’ve been told that ‘you can’t come to the hospital. You’ll scare people.’ That was really heartbreaking,” says veteran Tricia “Pricilla Mooseburger” Manuel, 56, of Maple Lake, Minn. “It’s diminished my income. The damage is done in so many respects. There’s a whole generation that, when they think of a clown, they think of something scary.”
Though, Manuel adds, “people still love us in nursing homes.”