HRC Blog

TLC Pulls Offensive “Cake Boss” Episode

This post comes from HRC Diversity Intern Francisco Hernandez:

TLC recently pulled an episode of Cake Boss off the air after former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Carmen Carrera expressed outrage at how the episode used her as a punch line to mock the transgender community. Carrera originally was asked to be on the show as part of a prank that Buddy Valastro, owner of the Cake Boss shop, was to play on “Cousin Anthony” Bellifemine. Carrera flirts with Bellifemine, he proceeds to ask for her number, and she kisses him on the cheek. Then, Valastro calls Bellifemine over and yells out, “That’s a man, baby!”

Prior to taping the episode, Carrera says she educated the producers on what terms would be appropriate to use. After the episode aired, Carrera took to her personal Facebook page to show how upset she was about being used as a means of mocking transgender Americans. She also created a successful online petition on change.org to demand TLC’s Cake Boss publicly apologize to the transgender community. The petition currently has over 8,000 signatures.

Buddy Valastro apologized to Carrera, as did TLC, in an online statement after pulling the episode off rotation on the air. Carrera agreed to be on the show to be a role model and spread a positive message.

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