RuPaul’s Drag Race star Carmen Carrera, who recently came out as transgender, says she was humiliated by her appearance on the reality show Cake Boss, and the program’s network, TLC, has pulled the episode.
Carrera was part of a set-up where she flirts with the Cake Boss’s Cousin Anthony, who does not know she is transgender. Carrera says she informed the producers to describe her as “born as a man” or a “transgender woman.” Instead, the show’s host, Buddy Valastro, informed Cousin Anthony on air that he had been flirting “With a man, baby!” Cousin Anthony then runs away in horror. After seeing Monday night’s episode, Carrera was appalled to be part of a Jerry Springer-like stunt, instead of a teachable moment about transgender people.
“Let me make this clear. CALLING A TRANSGENDER WOMAN A MAN IS WRONG,” Carrera wrote on Facebook. “Period. It’s degrading, it’s rude, and it’s very hurtful. I may not have been born a woman, but I’m NOT a man. I told them I would[n’t] mind if they said ‘born male’ or ‘was a male.’ After taking this journey it’s not fair at all to be lied to by the producers.”
Carrera launched a Change.org petititon demanding a public apology from Valastro; it has nearly 8,400 signatures. In response, Valastro did apologize and offered to bake a cake for Carrera, who came out as transgender on an episode of ABC’s What Would You Do? TLC announced on Wednesday the Cake Boss episode was pulled from rotation and executives are reviewing whether the offensive bit can be edited out or if the episode must be permanently pulled.