TLC has decided not to repeat Monday’s episode from season 5 of Cake Boss that features one of the cast members flirting with transgender woman Carmen Carrera.
Once Carrera’s identity is discovered, one of the cast members says, “It’s a man, baby.” The episode raised the ire of GLAAD, which said in a statement Wednesday that “the mean-spirited setup and result utterly belittled her gender as a transgender woman, and has no place on the air.”
TLC immediately removed the episode from the rotation (the episodes routinely re-air on the cable net) so it can decide whether it can be reintroduced following edits. Meanwhile, Cake Boss star Buddy Valastero also posted an apology on the show’s Facebook page, saying: “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.”
“This is a welcome and needed action on the network’s part to help fix the issue,” GLAAD said in a statement.
Carrera’s supporters created a Change.org petition demanding that TLC’s Cake Boss issue a public apology to the transgender community, which has garnered over 8,000 signatures to date. Carrera also spoke to Valastero, who offered to bake her a cake.
The latest season of Cake Boss bowed May 28.