ahs freak show twisty the clownTwisty the Clown has been terrorizing "American Horror Story: Freak Show" fans this season, but one group of professional clowns doesn't find the depiction to be a laughing matter.

Glenn Kohlberger, president of Clowns of America International, says in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the FX horror series is just the latest example of clowns getting a bad rap in entertainment.

"Hollywood makes money sensationalizing the norm," Kohlberger told THR. "They can take any situation no matter how good or pure and turn it into a nightmare. ... We do not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or 'clown fear.'"

THR's story notes that coulrophobia isn't exactly new: The phenomenon dates back to as early as an 1849 short story by Edgar Allen Poe, and recurs throughout modern media with Batman antagonist The Joker and Pennywise the evil clown from Stephen King's "It." Real-life examples include serial killer John Wayne Gacy (who performed as Pogo the Clown while raping and killing dozens of boys), and the recent sightings in California of Wasco Clown, who's been terrorizing small cities in the night.

But while Bakersfield, California's Police Department Sgt. Joe Grubbs told THR that "There's a natural phobia of clowns," Kohlberger and co. disagree.

"Clowns to killers. I choose not to play into any of it," he told THR. "The more attention we give it just gives it more fuel."

Unfortunately for Kohlberger, with the recent ratings success that "AHS" has enjoyed -- no doubt thanks in part to John Carroll Lynch and his haunting portrayal of Twisty -- we can't help but think that the "scary clown" trope is here to stay.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]

Photo credit: Michele K. Short/FX

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