Burger King Russia Wants to Ban 'IT' Because It's Basically a McDonald's Ad

Pennywise looks a little too much like Ronald McDonald, apparently.
September 27, 2017, 3:34pm
Photo via Flickr user Becky Stern and 'IT' trailer

Burger King Russia wants to get the movie IT banned across the country because it says the horror movie is free advertising for its fast-food rival, McDonald's, since, you know, clowns.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the Russian arm of Burger King filed a complaint last week with the Russian anti-monopoly board, arguing that Pennywise—IT's evil, child-slaughtering clown demon from another dimension—is an "exact copy" of burger-shilling clown mascot Ronald McDonald.

Apparently, Burger King is afraid that audiences will watch an evil clown terrorize a bunch of children for two hours and get inspired to give their business to another similarly red-haired clown. It's basically the opposite argument that all those hardworking clowns made when they feared that IT would wreck their birthday party business, but whatever.

The complaint, which was obtained by Russian financial site Vedomosti, alleges that IT breaks Russian advertising laws with the pseudo–Ronald McDonald villain and that Pennywise is basically identical to the McDonald's mascot down to the "colour range" and "the [balloons] with which the clown lures children."

Sure, Pennywise shares a passing resemblance to Ronald, but so do pretty much all other clowns. Maybe if Pennywise tried to lure Georgie down into the sewer with the promise of a ball pit and a Happy Meal, BK Russia might have a case.

A spokesperson for the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service told the Reporter that it received the complaint and is currently looking into whether the movie contained advertising or product placement for McDonald's. In the meantime, IT is playing on more than 100 screens across Russia and has already pulled in around $14 million in ticket sales, the Reporter says. There's also going to be an IT sequel, slated for a late summer 2019 release, whether Burger King likes it or not.