Pop Culture

'Cake Boss' issues apology after transgender prank

TLC / Today
"Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro

Monday night's episode of "Cake Boss" featured more than the usual frosting-covered fun at Carlo's Bakery. The "Boss" himself, Buddy Valastro, pulled an unexpected prank on the always-gullible "Cousin Anthony" Bellifemine, but the joke fell flat for the transgender reality star at the center of it and for many viewers.

Carmen Carrera, who some might remember from "Ru Paul's Drag Race," was brought on the show to flirt with Cousin Anthony, and she even placed a peck on his cheek. Anthony wasn't aware that Carmen was transgender, but Buddy was.

"Anthony, right now, is on top of the world," Buddy said on the show. "He don't know what's coming, baby."

That's when Buddy made his big announcement: "That's a man, baby!"

But according to Carmen, that's not how the scene was meant to play out.

"LET ME MAKE THIS VERY CLEAR! LISTEN UP PEOPLE! I signed on to do this episode of 'Cake Boss' to promote EQUALITY," she posted to her Facebook page. "Transgender women are just as beautiful as biological woman and should be respected for that. The 'reveal' was never meant to be a 'Jerry Springer, 'THATS A MAN'...' kind of thing. I was promised that it wasn't going to be that way. I was lied to."

According to a statement issued to the Los Angeles Times, TLC has pulled the episode from rotation following complaints from Carmen and her supporters. As for the "Boss," he's issued an apology.

"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," Buddy wrote in a message to his Facebook fans. "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."

Even Cousin Anthony got in on the mea culpa action, tweeting"I apologize for my ignorance. @Carmen_Carrera is a beautiful woman & I respect her greatly. No harm intended. My apologies."


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