TLC is pulling an episode of "Cake Boss" after a prank on the show created a backlash and hurt feelings, the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports.
Carmen Carrera, a transgender woman, says she was convinced to do the show under false pretenses. Carrera says the producers told her she would be a role model for transgendered persons but instead she was used as part of a prank, according to the story.
The episode had Carrera wait at a bar for "Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro’s rival, "Cousin Anthony" Bellifemine. Carrera and Bellifemine flirted, and she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
In a voice-over, Valastro said, "Anthony, right now, is on top of the world. He don’t know what’s coming, baby." He added, "That’s a man, baby!" according to the story.
Carrera complained about the treatment on Facebook, writing, "Im really trying to be a positive role model for trans people and it upsets me that … I SPECIFICALLY asked the producers of ‘Cake Boss’ NOT to disrespect me or trans people. Before I agreed to do this show, I was assured and then reassured that it wasn’t going to be like the JERRY SPRINGER show or MAURY. Let me make this clear. CALLING A TRANSGENDER WOMAN A MAN IS WRONG. Period. Its degrading, its rude, and its very hurtful."
TLC said it would pull the episode, but has left open the possibility of bringing it back, albeit with the scene removed or re-edited, the piece adds.
In the meantime, the activist group GLAAD — Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — has taken up Carrera’s cause, the story notes.
Carrera, who has been on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and other TV programs, was reportedly unmoved after receiving an apology from Valastro and one of the show’s producers.