Sexy 'Handmaid's Tale' Halloween costume pulled amid backlash

The company released an apology.

September 21, 2018, 4:42 PM
Elisabeth Moss and Ann Dowd appear in a scene from "The Handmaid's Tale."
Elisabeth Moss and Ann Dowd appear in a scene from "The Handmaid's Tale."
George Kraychyk/Hulu

It seems that every year, there's a Halloween costume that ignites outrage.

This year, that costume was Yandy's "Brave Red Maiden Costume," or "the sexy 'Handmaid's Tale' costume."

After critics claimed that the costume made light of the characters' plight -- handmaids are used as sex slaves to repopulate society in the Hulu series and book -- Yandy decided to stop selling the item.

"It has become obvious that our 'Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume' is being seen as a symbol of women's oppression, rather than expression of women's empowerment," the company said in a statement posted to Twitter. "This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image."

"Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we've received, we are removing the costume from our site," the statement concluded.

On Thursday, after images of the costume went viral, many people on social media expressed their concerns that the costume was inappropriate and degrading.

"I can't decide if this misses the point of The Handmaid's Tale, or encapsulates it completely," one user wrote.

Added another: "We're now beyond satire. 'Sexy' Handmaid's Tale outfit. There's nothing like fighting the patriarchy by sexualising a show about misogyny and rape."

Not everybody was upset. Some shrugged off the costume while others noted that there are more "socially-acceptable" Halloween costumes that ought to be pulled from the market, too.

"Um, Y’all been dressing as Native Ancestors since beginning of time," wrote one. "This is Fiction."