It’s nowhere near October, but one ensemble is already on track to be named the most controversial Halloween costume of 2015.
Social media users were out in full force on Monday criticizing several Halloween retailers for offering a Caitlyn Jenner costume reminiscent of the former-athlete’s Vanity Fair cover earlier this year.
“At Spirit Halloween, we create a wide range of costumes that are often based upon celebrities, public figures, heroes and superheroes,” said Lisa Barr, senior director of marking at Spirit Halloween. “We feel that Caitlyn Jenner is all of the above and that she should be celebrated. The Caitlyn Jenner costume reflects just that.”
The retailer offers several celebrity costumes including Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, KISS band members and Marilyn Monroe.
Despite the company’s stated intentions, transgender activists are lashing out.
“Do not turn Cailtyn Jenner into a costume. Your profit will only lead to greater transphobia and marginalization of an already at-risk community,” wrote Addison Vincent, the creator of a Change.org petition asking Spirit Halloween to discontinue sales of the costume.
Another signer wrote, “I’m signing because this costume mocks the validity of a transgender’s identity, implying a man wearing a dress is the same as a person dressing to their comfort and identity.”
Other retailers, including WholesaleCostumes.com and AnytimeCostumes.com, also carry the Caitlyn costume; they did not return calls for comment.
Jenner’s representatives did not immediately return request for comment.
Disclosure: Caitlyn Jenner’s docu-series will air on E!, which like CNBC, is owned by Comcast.