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.