TLC Pulls 'Cake Boss' Episode Over Transphobia Allegations
In case you haven't been keeping tabs on TLC show Cake Boss, there's been a bit of controversy surrounding the show, following an appearance from former RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Carmen Carrera. The result? TLC pulled the show's 99th episode, "Bar Mitzvah, Beads & Oh Baby!" yesterday.
Monday night's episode brought on Carrera to participate in a prank on Anthony "Cousin Anthony" Bellifemine, set up by Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro. The setup? Have Anthony flirt with Carrera, then tell him that Carrera is a trans woman.
Of course, Carrera participated in the prank knowingly, but it turns out that the episode didn't really go her way. During the interview, Valastro's big reveal wasn't phrased that she was transgender. Rather, it was: "That's a man, baby!"
"I signed on to do this episode of 'Cake Boss'" to promote EQUALITY. Transgender women are just as beautiful as biological woman and should be respected for that. The 'reveal' was never meant to be a 'Jerry Springer, 'THATS A MAN'...' kind of thing. I was promised that it wasn't going to be that way. I was lied to," she wrote on her Facebook page after the show aired.
Of course, that's not all. Cousin Anthony also fumbled when he responded to a tweet by referring to Carrera as "it." He apologized later, tweeting, "Hi all, I appologize for my ignorance. @carmen_carrera is a beautiful woman & i respect her greatly. no harm intended. My apologies."
Finally, last night TLC pulled the entire episode, in response to Carrera's protest and petition on Change.org.
Valastro has taken to Facebook to air his apologies, writing, "I've been trying to connect with Carmen and apologize to her directly, but also think I owe an apology to the entire LGBT community. It was absolutely not my intention to upset or offend her, or anyone within the community, and I was wrong to use the words I did. I am a supporter of gay rights and equality, and while I regret this situation and my choice of words, I am thankful to have received this feedback and the opportunity to learn from this mistake. I hope that Carmen accepts my sincere regrets."
Gawker still has the offending scene online, although the rest of Cake Boss' "Bar Mitzvah, Beads & Oh Baby!" may be lost forever.