TLC Pulls Trans-Phobic Cake Boss Episode That Made Carmen Carrera The Punchline

On Monday, TLC aired an episode of Cake Boss that had Drag Race contestant Carmen Carrera and trans activists sick to their stomachs.

In the episode, “Cousin Anthony” was filmed flirting with Carrera, 27, who recently came out as a transgender woman. Then Buddy Valastero, the Cake Boss himself, recalled, ““I call him over—and I tell him…that’s a man, baby!”

Far from being in on the joke, Carrera said it left a bad taste in her mouth: “I’m so upset right now, I cant stop crying. My heart truly hurts,”  she posted on Facebook after viewing the episode.

She’d agreed to be on the show, but claimed the final product was far from what she ordered:

“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… I made it very clear to the producers on how to use the correct wording before agreeing to filming this but instead they chose to poke fun and be disrespectful..”

The Cake Boss’ offer to bake her a cake didn’t help assuage her rage:

“I don’t want a cake, I don’t want an apology,” Carrera fumed. “I want them to have some remorse for what they did and fix this. At the end of the day, I want to promote equality and end ignorance. Transgender people are dying because of stupidity like this. It is not okay.”

After Carrera and other trans activists spoke out against the “prank,” TLC confirmed with GLAAD that it will not re-air Monday’s episode. (It was not repeated on Tuesday, as it normally would be.)

Valastero also posted an apology on Cake Boss‘ Facebook page:

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.

Speaking with GLAAD after being told the episode had been pulled, Carmen expressed her approval:

It’s clear that TLC is taking this seriously and showing a genuine concern—which means a lot to me. It’s not okay for media to make a mockery and perpetuate ignorance.

Over the past 24 hours, I have been flooded with support and I want transgender women to know that we have a voice. Transgender women are some of the bravest people that I know and I hope to be there for them when they face discrimination like this in their daily lives. We deserve to be respected as any other woman and embraced for who we are- not made to feel like we are less than human.

TLC has taken the appropriate action in this situation, and we hope other networks will recognize that the transgender community will not accept programming and depictions that defame them.

You know this never would have happened on Ace of Cakes.

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  • Brian

    At first I was going to say that terminology is hard for people who are not educated on the LGBT (mostly the T) community. But, if she was clear about the terminology and was promised not to be treated like a freak show, then they should pull the episode. The fact that the network let something like this air makes me a little sick. Good for Carmen for standing up for herself!

  • sheena

    i respected carmen more after this…..and she actually asked tlc to not air the show coz of the transphobic remarks towards her…..yet tlc still aired the stupid ignorant cakeboss episode where they used carmen as a joke….since that fat stupid disgustig pig likes it that way for publicity……and that ignorant good for nothing joe that called her it…..trans woman all over the world is proud of you for standing up for not just yourself but to all of us. being a transsexual is hard, we are segregated by not just heterosexual people but also some occasional gay people as well….some even say theres no T in lgbt and i keep reading that hear on queerty

    carmen your such an inspiration and hopefully that bigoted cakeboss would be booted off the air and that fat guy will die of heart attack…..and that egoistic good for nothing who called her it will be hit by a car lol..

    and theyre apology is another stupid thing they did which is insencere. they know that its insulting yet they did that but the apology is just part of theyre TRICK!


  • Deely

    People don’t understand transexuals and their adversities and difficulties assimilating into the mainstream and, while your attempt to educate is commendable and respectable, and you’d like to broaden their minds, you can’t get all offended when people can’t or won’t accept YOUR definition of “woman” and question your intentions when you misrepresent yourself. YOU KNOWLINGLY went on the show to, and I quote, “thwart the misogyny of this particular character — Bellifemine — whom (you) Carrera said the producers referred to as a “big womanizer who treats women like crap, and needs to have a better appreciation for women,” and the guy clearly had NO IDEA you’re transexual. Unfortunately, the way society views and treats women (no matter birth gender) is despicable, and now you’ve had your eyes open to what it’s really like to be one.

  • randalaw

    Carmen, you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I, too, am angered by the way you were treated and by their dishonesty. But, have you ever seen an episode of a TV reality show? They are not about teachable moments. They are about ratings and sensationalism–period. Someone really led you down the garden path in this instance. Though you had an awful experience, you probably did bring a lot of peole to a better understanding of the many issues faced by trans men and women–just not quite in the way you had hoped.

  • Jeff

    Once upon a time, TLC was “The Learning Channel” and actually had meritorious programming. It’s nothing but degrading trash now and this is simply a reflection and confirmation of that opinion.

  • Jose Rodriguez

    I understand transexuals do not like to be called men if they have transitioned to women and they should be referred to as such. But come on! Carmen clearly went on to do a “gross you touched a man” type prank. Why aren’t more people repulsed by that. It is a disgusting way to represent the transexual community to participate in that kind of nonsense.

  • Just A Guy

    I really can’t feel bad for Carmen on this. She knew what she was getting into. She knew it would be a trick to deceive a guy and when she got this reaction…

    Sorry, honey, you brought this on yourself.

  • RomanHans

    Carmen Carrera made herself the punchline, apparently just to appear on a crap show. Sad.

  • Adam

    Yes, it is very offensive to call a transgender woman a man, but isn’t it already incredibly offensive and degrading to have the punchline of your joke be “HA HA! YOU FOUND SOMEONE WHO IS TRANGENDER ATTRACTIVE!” I am confused why Carmen thought the latter would be progress and activism for the transgender community, and I’m confused why she would find that idea okay yet be wildly (though understandably) offended by the insensitive mislabeling of her as a man.

  • Clockwork


    You speak truth.

  • Abaca

    Since when is wanting the woman you’re hitting on to have a vagina transphobic? I’m a gay man who dates other men. If I were to discover the man I was hitting on was trans, I would would do my best to be polite, but there is no way I’d consider dating or having sex with a man who is trans because they don’t have penises. This is PC going too far. Acknowledging biology isn’t transphobic.

  • kevininbuffalo

    @Abaca: You spoke the truth, prepare to catch hell!

  • Abaca

    @Kevininbuffalo: They can bring it. Nothing they say can change the fact that while trans men and women identify as a particular gender, their biology tells a different story. I don’t think someone should be labeled as intolerant, bigoted or transphobic for acknowledging that a he has a vagina or a she has a penis and thus I have no sexual interest in that person. I’m not even kind of a bigot, but I like my men masculine and to have a penis. If you are a woman, a trans man or a very feminine man, I will not want to fuck you. All that means is I have a preference. Not that that I’m sexist, transphobic or a self-hating homosexual. I happen to like dudes and if someone tells me the person I’m hitting on looks like a dude, but doesn’t have dude parts, I won’t be interested, not because I’m discriminating against trans men, but because I don’t want to interact with a vagina. If that makes me a bigot, so be it. I just don’t think these people should be raked through the coals for telling the truth. Until Carmen Carerra has her penis removed, she’s technically a dude. And if a guy wants his female partner to have a pussy, then that just makes him straight, not a bigot.

  • Sweetbrandigirl2004

    @Abaca: Bravo ! I couldn’t have said it better. Oh and lets be Clear about one thing and that is there is a difference between a transgender and a transsexual No matter how much the trans mafia tries to cram the Transsexual community under your transgender umbrella there are many many differences between the biggest one being that Transsexuals have the brain gender of the opposite sex they’re not living out a fantasy or playing dress up like the transgender are.

  • Jawsch

    Carmen is nothing but a drama queen.
    One look into her facebook profile will tell you that.

    She’s done nothing but bad mouth other queens who were on RPDR that she feels are beneath her.

    In all honesty, I don’t see the huge issue especially when you’re dealing with people who aren’t part of the LGBT community. Fact is, she was born a male and people who aren’t educated on the matter only see it as such.

    Being called a man made her cry? o.0 She certainly didn’t cry everytime she was referred to as a man on RPDR.

  • JayKay



    There’s nothing bigoted, insensitive, cruel, “transphobic,” or wrong about wanting your partners to have the right genitals.

  • Clockwork

    Carmen says:
    “Transgender women are some of the bravest people that I know and I hope to be there for them when they face discrimination like this in their daily lives.”

    We are no more brave than anyone else in this world. As far as you (Carmen) being there when we face discrimination, go ahead but I think I can handle things myself.

  • plazaboy

    If someone could please help me understand something. Carmen was born a biological male, discovered he was really a female trapped in a male body, and has he had the necessary surgeries to qualify as “female?” And if so, why would Carmen be upset that someone still called “her” a male – because, “she” may have turned “her” penis inside out and had implants and whatnot, but biologically, “she” is still a male. Yes??

    Carmen, i don’t care enough to know your real name, but honey, it doesn’t matter what you do to yourself to “feel comfortable” – you will always still be male.

  • sheena

    @Abaca: go shoot urself…

  • Abaca

    @Sheena: Why would I go shoot myself? Because I want the guy I’m dating to have a dick? If that’s the case then 98% of the population should join me. Not wanting to fuck a trans person isn’t discrimination. Here it is in the simplest way I can put it: I like dick. False, I love dick. Trans men don’t have dicks. They have vaginas. I don’t sleep with people with vaginas no matter how they identify. That doesn’t make me transphobic. That makes me GAY! You sound very irrational and immature. Not wanting to fuck someone trans is punishable by death? HA!

  • sheena

    @Abaca: its ok if u dont fuck transsexuals no one gives an f but making ignorant comment towards it what makes me want u to kill yourself your not being part of the solution….why would transwoman want to fuck a gay man who likes to BOTTOM more and have these weird fetishes like u do….coz mostly its what straight acting gay men are lol…who segregates those feminine gays and trans and lesbians…usually they are these with weird whorish fetish….

  • Abaca

    @Sheena, That made no sense. And I’m not a bottom, I’m a total top. I don’t have any weird fetishes except ass to mouth. I never made a reference about myself wanting to fuck trans women, where did you read that. I used myself as an example in regards to sexual attraction and specifically cited trans men. And there was no ignorance in my comments, only the truth. If you have a certain sex’s reproductive organ, you are biologically that sex. PERIOD. It’s unfortunate that your brains and bodie developed separately in utero and you have one sex’s brain and the others body. I totally get that. But what some in the trans community refuse to accept is declaring you’re the opposite sex doesn’t make you so biologically. You may totally transition, but you’ll never conceive a child, lactate or naturally produce female hormones. That’s not ignorance, that’s science. Not is it a reason for me to kill myself for being part of the problem. I don’t discriminate against trans people socially. I just would not consider dating one. That doesn’t make me a bigot and deciding not to jump on the trans bandwagon and refusing to acknowledge scientific fact about biology doesn’t make me ignorant. You need to grow the fuck up. As long as you have a dick, you are technically a man. And if that bothers you, have it removed. Or you could just shoot yourself..

  • Abaca

    @Sheena, Lastly, who are you to declare anything weird? You’re a man who’s becoming a woman or if you prefer a chick with a dick. Yep, there’s nothing even remotely weird about sucking your girlfriends dick.

  • sheena

    @Abaca: but we transwoman doesnt date closeted GAY MEN who likes acting STRAIGHT AS WELL….for we respect that gays dont go for transsexuals AND WE KNOW THAT FOR A FACT….and yah we can transition but we cant bear a child….OH ANOTHER BIBLICAL BIGOT AND HE IS CLAIMING HES GAY lol…whattabout woman that cant bear a child….they are not womam? science? the only science u know is sperm cells and lemme guess…..figurin out how to get anal sex without pain…..ur a disgrace top lgbt community for being real IGNORANT….like SERIOUSLY……go to grindr thast where u belong

  • sheena

    total top? top of the bottoms or TOP OF THE GUY AND RIDE lol…………ok so u like to be on top then thats cool girl…..DAS KOOL GIRL NO T NO SHADE!!! HALELOO lol

  • Abaca

    @Sheena, Are you drunk? Nothing you say makes sense. I’m not closeted and I’m not religious. Women who are infertile are still biological women. And as for insinuating that I’m a bottom, what are you trying to say? Are bottoms not “men” in the view? So what if I was a bottom? Technically you’re a bottom too seeing as you don’t have a vagina to penetrate. And what’s with calling me girl? Isn’t that what this whole thread is about? Carmen is upset because she was referred to as the “wrong” gender. If you as a trans person expects to be referred to by the correct pronoun, then try doing it to others. OK, dude? With that being said Sheena, all you have is horrible grammar, typo’s and cap locks. You don’t have any argument (no one does) to refute scientific fact. If you want to call me ignorant, go ahead. I’ll be ignorant. And I’ll also respect you as a trans woman and support your right for freedom of expression and equality. What I won’t except is the trans community trying to define for me what constitutes male and female and labeling me a bigot if I don’t confirm to their views. Be an adult and cool it with the kill yourself style hate speech and try to respect others views even if they contradict your own. And lastly, get someone to proof read your replies. You’ve lost this round Sheena. Try again after you pass 5th grade science. Enjoy your weekend.

  • Ben

    Think of others before making ignorant and disrespectful remarks. If you don’t care about others, consider your own image when your lower consciousness is exposed.

    You are out on the front lines. This story makes me so sad. AVP has people to talk with to heal this violent experience. They help us to stride forward with head held up with pride.

  • Abaca

    @Ben, Was you comment about ignorant and disrespectful remarks referring to me and what about this experience was even remotely violent? Seriously, how was Carmen physically harmed?

  • sheena

    @Abaca: whats the need for perfect grammar im not in school and im having fun doin it TEACHER….calling u a girl?……so what if your bottom??? seriously….dont play and act like a VICTIM HERE doesnt suit you queen one lol

  • SFHarry

    @sheena: Sheen, I’m neither agreeing or disagreeing with your discussion with Abaca, it is not what I would like to discuss, I would like to point out when you use being a bottom as an insult your are basically insulting women, gay men and all people who may take the sexual sole as a bottom. It’s the basis for all the discrimination we have to endure. You are playing right into the bigots hands. Your using their words against us.

  • m

    I don’t understand the prank in the first place. How was it supposed to go?

  • musctop

    I don’t understand all the hurt feelings. Just like whats hiding under her skirt, it’s gonna come up once in a while that she wasn’t born a biological female. We can pretend it doesn’t matter, but it does.

Comments are closed.