A tear for a clown: Ronald McDonald to limit appearances after clown scares

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AUKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 21: Ronald McDonald outside the Queen Street McDonald's branch in Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesday April 21st 2004. As part of a Greenpeace protest, a Ronald McDonald lookalike 'resigned' as the company mascot in protest at McDonalds use of chicken fed on genetically engineered (GE) soy meal. (Photo by Geoff Dale/Getty Images)

Well, at least we won’t be seeing one creepy clown so much.

McDonald’s announced Monday that Ronald McDonald is going on the down low.

His appearances will be limited due to the rise in clown-related disturbances in the US and more recently around the world.

“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,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey told CNN in an email.

For a long time, Ronald McDonald was a globally recognized icon synonymous with the fast food giant, but the clown hasn’t featured as prominently in McDonald’s advertisements in recent years.

“This does not mean that there will be no appearances by Ronald McDonald, but that we are being thoughtful as to Ronald McDonald’s participation in various community events at this time,” Hickey said.

Americans have been dealing with more and more clown sightings recently, and the internet has helped the creepy craze spread like wildfire.

Is it a viral stunt? Marketing?

No one knows for sure.