America is deep in the throes of an evil clown mania. Guys with poor senses of humor are running around like Pennywise the Clown, schools are going into lockdown, and professional clowns are losing jobs left and right.
Perhaps the most famous clown in these modern times, Ronald McDonald, is not immune to the mass clown character assassinations either—McDonald's announced on Tuesday that it'll be downplaying the mascot's role until our nation learns to love red noses and oversize shoes again.
"McDonald's and franchisees in the local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities," a McDonald's spokeswoman told NBC News in an email. "And, as such, are being thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events for the time being."
Ronald isn't gone forever, of course, but he'll be hiding out in the shadows like Batman at the end of The Dark Knight until the world is ready for his return.