GLAAD is standing with Carmen Carrera after TLC’s “Cake Boss” June 11 episode made her the punchline in an anti-trans prank, despite her initial outreach to educate show producers on respectful language for transgender people and producers’ assurances that she would be treated with respect. Clearly, they failed her and the transgender community as a whole.
Essentially, the prank consisted of having cast member Anthony flirt with Carrera in order to then reveal to him that she is a transgender woman—or in Cake Boss’s words: “It’s a man, baby,” which not only makes the fact that Carrera is transgender the mean-spirited punchline of a dehumanizing joke, but also belittles her gender identity as a transgender woman.
Carmen is not an 'it.' She's a transgender woman, a mom and a beloved personality in the LGBT community.
GLAAD commends Carmen Carrera for her courage in taking a stand for positive visibility for the transgender community and for her efforts in educating “Cake Boss’s” producers on using respectful words and images of LGBT people. "I would never have intentionally taken part in a prank at the expense of the transgender community," Carrera emphasized. "All I want is to be a positive role model for the transgender community."
Yesterday, 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. She has since spoken with Cake Boss lead Buddy Valastero, who apologized for what happened and offered to bake Carmen a cake, but Carmen is calling on action from the show and TLC, saying "I don’t want a cake, I don’t want an apology. 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 OK."
GLAAD stands with Carmen in calling on TLC to take action before the episode airs again. Promoting anti-trans attitudes at a time when the violence and discrimination faced by the transgender community remain at alarmingly high levels is completely unacceptable.
TLC's original programming spotlights different types of people and families. Here's an original idea for them: the time is now for TLC to share a story about a transgender woman with respect.