," the brand tells PEOPLE in a statement about its polarizing costume
Online fashion retailer Yandy has turned the ongoing college admissions scandal into a sexy Halloween costume — and some people aren’t happy about it.
After facing backlash in years past for making a Handmaid’s Tale costume, a controversial pregnant Kylie Jenner costume and a sexy Donald Trump costume, Yandy pushed the boundaries again with what they’re calling the “Yandy College Scandal Costume.”
The revealing costume includes a red-orange crop top with the “MOM OF THE YEAR” printed across the front and crossed out, while the word “INMATE” is printed directly beneath it. It also comes complete with form-fitting, matching color bottoms.
On Yandy’s website, the costume description reads: “Oops, you can’t always trust those motherly instincts. Turns out fame and intelligence don’t go hand in hand! Bribe your way to the admissions office and score the ultimate scholarly achievement (the best mom award!) in this exclusive College Scandal costume.”
Though some Twitter users said that they thought the costume was funny, others thought Yandy’s interpretation of the college scandal was offensive.
“In today’s edition of WTF?!? I just saw a “sexy” College admissions scandal Halloween costume,” one person wrote.
Another person tweeted, “This revolting ‘costume’ goes to show if there’s a buck to be made from criminal behavior, some will find a way to profit from it. Just abhorrent. Capitalism at work.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Yandy defends its latest controversial costume.
“Every year Yandy looks for opportunities to take inspiration from current trends and pop-culture events,” Alicia Thompson, Director Of Brand Marketing at Yandy.com, says. “College scandal is clearly on the minds of everyone right now and we felt it was the perfect opportunity to showcase a sexy two piece body suit that pokes fun at this current national obsession. Of course at Yandy University we accept everyone.”
On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that it had charged 50 people, including Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, in the college admissions cheating scandal. Along with coaches, admissions counselors and fellow parents, they were accused of alleged crimes such as falsifying SAT scores and lying about the athletic skills of their children, allegedly working with Rick Singer, a college admissions consultant who has admitted his role as the ringleader of the scam and pleaded guilty in March to multiple charges.
Prosecutors said in a criminal complaint that Huffman paid $15,000 to Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes. Singer then facilitated cheating on Huffman’s daughter’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers after the fact.
Loughlin and Giannulli stand accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.
They were also indicted on an additional charge of fraud and money laundering, face up to 20 years in prison for each charge if convicted. The couple pleaded not guilty in April after turning down a plea deal because it included jail time. Their attorneys have not returned PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
On September 13, Huffman was sentenced to 14 days behind bars for her role in the scandal. The judge fined her $30,000 and said she would be on supervised release for one year. She will also have to do 250 hours of community service.