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Unsettling reason McDonald’s iconic clown was quietly phased out

Unsettling reason McDonald’s iconic clown was quietly phased out

Ronald McDonald was quietly given the boot by Maccies for an extremely disturbing reason.

Ronald McDonald was the red and yellow icon of the fast food world until his epic fall from grace.

Yes, we know it was just a bloke in white face paint and a poorly fitting canary yellow jumpsuit, but he was a legend all the same.

McDonald's infamous mascot either frightened the life out of you or made you squeal with glee. There was no in between.

As the face of one of the world's largest fast food chains, Ronald became a celebrity in his own right.

But like any international superstar, he couldn't escape controversy.

Which is why McDonald's decided to slowly phase out the red wig-wearing clown back in 2016.

Despite him being firmly ingrained in the DNA of the company, bosses were forced to gradually distance themselves from Ronald for a disturbing reason.

Ronald McDonald was gradually given the boot by the fast food giant.
Mike Fuentes/Getty Images

If you cast your mind back to seven years ago, you might remember a bizarre trend that was sweeping the globe.

And I'm not talking about the Mannequin Challenge or campaigning for justice for Harambe the gorilla.

You may recall when the world briefly went mad and killer clowns began running amok around the time of August 2016.

People began sporting terrifying clown costumes and sharing their spooky snaps online to promote a horror movie which was due to drop two years later.

But the craze created mass hysteria rather than hype for the film, as obviously some took it too far.

It began in the US state of Wisconsin and soon clown copycats from across the world began cropping up.

What originally started as a bit of harmless fun turned into a real life horror story, when the clowns craze took a dangerous turn.

A family in Florida was attacked by a group of 20 people wearing clown masks.

The Sun also reported a person in a clown mask who allegedly pulled out a knife and started running after a boy on his way to school.

Police were inundated with calls reporting that people were being tormented by the creepy circus performers.

The children's charity Childline recorded a total of 120 calls from terrified kids in 2016.

The infamous McDonald's mascot had to take a step back due to the killer clown craze.
Mike Fuentes/Getty Images

Although the idiots trawling the streets in cheap costumes didn't dress up as Ronald, they ended up giving all clowns a bad name.

McDonald's released a statement at the time, which read: "McDonald's and franchisees in the local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities and as such are being thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events for the time being."

A statement on the UK McDonalds website also said: "We're afraid that Ronald McDonald no longer appears in McDonald's UK advertising, but he is still very busy working for us.

"He often travels up and down the country to help promote some of our exciting new activities and visits our restaurants to make sure everyone is enjoying their meals."

The Maccies clown still remains in some restaurants around the world, but stays in the shadows for the most part.

Willard Scott, who sadly passed away in 2021 at the age of 87, was the original portrayer of the McDonald's mascot.

As Ronald, he featured in commercials and in marketing imagery from the character's first appearance in 1963 into the early 1970s.

Featured Image Credit: Peter Bischoff/Mike Fuentes/Getty Images

Topics: McDonalds, Food And Drink, Viral, Weird