Burger King Russia trying to ban ‘It’ from theatres because of McDonald’s

By @chelean on
Cast member Bill Skarsgard poses at the premiere for "It" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 5, 2017.
Cast member Bill Skarsgard poses at the premiere for "It" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 5, 2017. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

Burger King in Russia is trying to get the movie “It” banned in the country because of McDonald’s. The hamburger fast food chain has filed a petition to the country’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service because it claims Pennywise, the demonic villain from the film, could work as an advertisement for its rival.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the company complained that Pennywise looks like Ronald McDonald and therefore could act as an ad for the other fast food chain. A spokeswoman for the FAS has confirmed to the publication that Burger King’s complaint is being evaluated.

“We can’t be concerned with the content of the film because the writer and director have their own creative understanding of any character,” she said. The agency would study if the film contained advertising or product placement.

The report didn’t say when the decision would be handed out. However, it appears that Burger King’s complaint has been a little too late.”It” has been showing in Russian theatres since September 7. As online commenters have speculated, BK complained not because it really believed that the McDonald’s mascot and the child-murdering clown from the Stephen King-adapted film could be mistaken for each other, but because it would perhaps hurt McDonald’s from the publicity.

BK’s complaint may not be as completely odd as first thought, though. The idea that Pennywise could be a stand-in for McDonald and vice versa is plausible, according to a YouTube parody video. “It – McDonald’s Edition” has amassed over 3.4 million views since it was released in April. Burger King, meanwhile, has a bearded king as its mascot.

“It” was released in Australia on Sep. 7, in the US on Sep. 8. Bill Skarsgard stars in the film as Pennywise the clown. It has amassed over US$480 million (AU$612 million) worldwide.

Watch “It” – McDonald’s Edition on YouTube