"Given the current environment, we have made the decision to remove a variety of clown masks from our assortment, both in stores and online," Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said in a statement.
This follows after McDonald's revealed that its Ronald McDonald mascot would be keeping a low profile until the clown hysteria dissipated.
What's more, several school districts have banned clown costumes, while some police departments are asking citizens to choose other options this Halloween. In San Diego, Officer Mark Herring told the local NBC News affiliate, "If a person can avoid these fears or concerns by dressing up as something other than a clown or not wearing a mask, it may be a more enjoyable Halloween for everybody."
(We're guessing movie theaters won't be showing a certain cult classic this Halloween, either.)
The hysteria began in Greenville, SC in August, when police began receiving calls about clowns trying to lure children into a forested area with money. Since then, police in 37 states and abroad have responded to reports of menacing clowns. Most have been copycats responding to the viral trend, but in Reading, PA, a man in a clown mask stabbed a 16-year-old boy to death. In New York, a clown wielding a knife chased a teenager from the subway.
Readers, what do you think of the creepy clown craze? How do you feel about the actions taken by Target, McDonald's, and others? Share your thoughts in the comments.