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Carmen Carrera 'Cake Boss' show pulled for transgender prank

June 13, 2012|By Scott Collins
  • "Cake Boss" overseer Buddy Valastro is facing criticism for a transgender prank on his show.
"Cake Boss" overseer Buddy Valastro is facing criticism for… (Associated Press )

"Cake Boss"Buddy Valastro might want to stick a rolling pin his mouth — at least when it comes to making transgender jokes.

TLC has pulled Monday's episode of the popular reality show set in a New Jersey bakery after Carmen Carrera — a transgender woman who has appeared on"RuPaul's Drag Race" and other shows — vehemently objected to how she was portrayed.

Carrera said the producers lured her on to the show under false pretenses, making her believe she'd be a role model for transgendered persons when in fact she was used as part of a homophobic prank. On the episode, Valastro had Carrera lie in wait at a bar for Valastro's rival, "Cousin Anthony" Bellifemine. Carrera and Bellifemine began flirting, and she gave him a peck on the cheek.

In a voice-over, Valastro exulted: "Anthony, right now, is on top of the world. He don't know what's coming, baby."

Valastro added: "That's a man, baby!" Cousin Anthony was later glimpsed fleeing the bar. 

In a Facebook posting, Carrera wrote: "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." 

Carrera said a producer and Valastro later apologized, but she remained unmoved. The activist organization GLAAD also took up her cause.

TLC said it would pull the episode for now but left open the possibility that it would return with the offending scene rejiggered or removed entirely.

“TLC can confirm that the episode was immediately removed from rotation after learning of Carmen Carrera and her supporters’ concerns, and the network is reviewing the content to see whether it could be reintroduced following edits," a spokeswoman wrote in a statement. She declined to elaborate. 

What do you think of the "Cake Boss" controversy?

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