TLC is known worldwide for being one of the biggest distributors of reality television programs. Over the years, they have dominated part of the reality television market by providing fans with entertaining shows like Cake Boss, Little People, Big World, Breaking Amish, and My 600-LB Life. But, while they very much like to consider themselves a company with the objective of entertaining all families, some iffy stories and rumors surround this television network owned by Discovery Communications.
TLC was founded back in 1972, and it was created by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. As one would imagine, it was a network dedicated to education. However, they later found out that most people are not really interested in being educated when they sit in front of the television. For what many assumed were poor ratings and a small audience, the network decided to put on a new spin near the turn of the century and eventually started to focus on the reality dramas we are so accustomed to watching today.
These days, you can get TLC all around the world, and their ratings are way higher than anyone would claim they could have attained had they continued down the path of being an educational network. Nevertheless, even though they are not exclusively focused on education anymore, TLC likes to keep the idea that they are a family network in the minds of people. The problem is that some of the reality TV stars that bring them large audiences do stuff behind the scenes that severely damage that image. With that, we would like to bring you a list of 15 behind-the-scenes secrets that TLC producers don’t want you to know.
15. Cake Boss Behind Bars
Seriously, what is it about celebrities and getting arrested for driving while intoxicated? It just seems like every single day, there is another one of them getting arrested for the same exact dumb reason. How hard is it not to drive when you’re drunk?
Most of you know that Cake Boss is one of the most recognizable shows on TLC, and the star of the show is Mr. Buddy Valastro. The whole premise of the show is great. Who doesn’t love cake? Cake Boss is a show that appeals to one of the most basic needs of people in today’s society, which is to enjoy a sugar rush occasionally. But while many people drool while watching Buddy and his crew build the most beautiful cakes you will ever see, some problems still happen behind the scenes. The first one we had to mention was when Buddy got arrested for a DWI and allegedly told the officers, “I had a couple of drinks. You can’t arrest me! I’m the Cake Boss.”
14. Breaking Amish
It is not like no one saw this coming. The premise of the show Breaking Amish revolves around the idea of five adults leaving the communities they lived their entire lives in and moving to New York in order to decide whether they would like to stay in this new world or return to the old one.
The first problem we have with this premise is that it is tough to believe in the first place. And who knew, it didn’t take long for folks to find out that there were parts of the show that were indeed fake. The first one that we’ll mention is that a 30-something-year-old cast member, who was supposed to have lived on his family’s farm until the start of the show, actually left his Amish community when he was 18. So, the time discrepancy there is of a little over a decade. Don’t worry; we will have more things the TLC producers behind Breaking Amish don’t want you to know later on in this list.
13. The Sad Truth
The show My 600-lb Life is usually recognized for the many people it has helped lose weight and escape the terrifying life that morbidly obese folks have to endure. Don’t get us wrong. We believe that a lot of people were helped by the show. But the producers behind the cameras definitely would not want you to know that their formula is not always right. This brings us to the story of the Kentucky native James King.
King was one of the many people portrayed on the show who struggled with living while being morbidly obese. He also had extra motivation to lose weight and change his life, as he wanted to help his father, whose health was declining. However, his journey was very different from what we see on television. Despite having to pay for his trip to Houston because the insurance refused to pay for the ambulance transport that he needed, King was not able to lose the weight and ended up putting on more pounds.
12. The Brother-In-Law
We have mentioned the past troubles with the law that the protagonist of Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, went through after he was accused of driving while intoxicated. And that is a pretty serious crime, but when compared to what his brother-in-law did, Buddy driving drunk seems like a walk in the park. If you have followed Cake Boss for quite a while now, you might remember that Remigio “Remy” Gonzalez appeared in a few of the early seasons of the show, while Cake Boss was still getting off the ground and gathering the massive following they have today.
What nobody knew, however, is that while he appeared on the show and was still married to Buddy’s sister, Lisa, Remy was also allegedly s*xually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. Yes, this is quite the escalation from a mere DWI. The attacks supposedly occurred between 2009 and 2010, and Remy ended up being sentenced to serve nine years in state prison.
11. Faking Amish Round Two
Remember we mentioned the member of the cast of Breaking Amish who claimed he was just leaving his family’s farm for the first time to find out who he really was in the world? That man was Jeremiah Raber. Now, while a lot of the folks on the cast of the show have interesting back stories that wildly differ from what they claim in front of the cameras, Jeremiah surely takes the cake. Not only did this guy lie about the fact that he was just finding out about the outside world, but he also had an entire life outside of his community before the start of the show.
As it turns out, Jeremiah had not only defected from his community more than a decade before he claimed he did, but he even got married and had three children after leaving the community. His wife came out and told the news that they were married for six years and eventually got divorced before the show started.
10. Little People, Big Problems
The TLC reality TV show Little People, Big World was a big hit with the reality TV crowd. The series followed the life of the Roloff family and its six members. The clan lived in a farm in Oregon and allowed TLC to follow their daily lives. Much of the focus of the show was the routine of the father and mother, Matt and Amy, and one of their four children, Zach, because the three of them have dwarfism.
However, as heartwarming as the series was, there was a darker side to the cast behind the scenes. And since we have to start from the beginning, let’s talk about the patriarch, Matt Roloff. Back in 2007, Matt had to face a similar problem that many of his reality TV celebrity colleagues went through. While driving on a Washington County road, Matt was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy and failed a sobriety test. That was his second drunken driving arrest in four years, according to The Oregonian.
9. Love Is In The Air
One of the themes portrayed during the show Breaking Amish was romance. When we think about it, it is not all that surprising that a show that puts people with “similar” backgrounds in a common situation would portray those same people getting to know each other better and even eventually becoming romantically involved. That is what made it seem natural as the romance between two of the younger members of the Breaking Amish cast started developing affection for each other.
The show and their producers did not lose time in banking the romance between Rebecca and Abe. There is just one little problem with that love. Apparently, these two youngsters had already been dating even before the show started. Not only that, Abe and Rebecca also allegedly already had a child together. It is only thanks to a Facebook group that is devoted to debunking the fake stuff on Breaking Amish that we have the picture of Rebecca and Abe with their love child.
8. Buddy’s Trans Disaster
In the world we live in today, most people would expect the vast majority of television personalities to be accepting of other people’s chosen gender. Literally every day, we see celebrities coming out and supporting LGBT causes around the world. Nevertheless, during an episode of Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro managed to gather all the hate from the LGBT community because of a prank.
The idea for the prank sounded entertaining at first and transgender star Carmen Carrera was all-in with the fun. The goal of the prank was for her to flirt with one of the cast members, Cousin Anthony, and get him to ask her for her number. She was successful in fulfilling her side of the deal, but the way Valastro revealed the prank was far from acceptable, as he told the camera:
“Anthony right now is on top of the world. You don’t know what’s coming baby! I call him over because it’s time to bring him back down to Chinatown. I tell him, ‘That’s a man, baby!’”
7. Roloff Lawsuit
After you enter the world of reality television, if you are portraying a business in your show, the odds are that the business is going to boom in the real world. We saw that with Cake Boss, and it was no different with Little People, Big World. After the show took off, it was not strange for the Roloff farm to receive visitors.
Nevertheless, there was one incident in which we believe the Roloff’s would very much like to have stopped somebody from entering their farm. In October of 2009, a woman named Linda Farrall was visiting the Roloff farm on a group tour when something unexpected happened. After being accidentally bumped from behind by another visitor, she fell over the picnic pavilion and suffered several injuries. Farrall claimed that her medical bills were around $100,000 and went on to sue the Roloff’s for $1 million because she and her lawyers deemed that her injuries were a result of the negligence of the couple.
6. What Do You Mean Nobody Buys The Cakes?
After watching seasons and seasons of Cake Boss, a reasonable fan would be rightfully led to believe that whenever somebody walks into Carlo’s Bakery in Jersey, they do so looking to buy a cake. After all, the bakery has been made famous worldwide because of the masterful cakes they are able to create on demand.
Well, get ready for a face full of reality. While most of what we see on the show is the crew crafting their creative cakes, the people who go to the bakery usually choose something else before heading to the cashier. Yeah, the most popular products from Carlo’s Bakery are actually not the cakes. How much do you think the producers from TLC would like it if the fans found out that the famous New Jersey bakery is best known for selling lobster tail pastries and pignoli nut cookies instead of Transformers cakes? It certainly wouldn’t be as entertaining to watch them create thousands of lobster tail pastries every week as it is to watch them create original cakes.
5. Jeremiah Strikes Again
We already established that Jeremiah was the biggest liar in the show Breaking Amish. But, more than lying about his roots and the fact that he lived in the outside world for a long time before entering the show, there are a couple more things that the TLC producers would not want you to know about this guy.
The first one is so bad that it seems like TLC allegedly took care of the problem for him. When his ex-wife, Naomi Stutzman, told a news station about how fake her ex-husband’s story was, she also mentioned that he still owed more than $20,000 in child support. Although she was not very clear about how the debt was paid, one can interpret that either TLC paid part of what Jeremiah owed or the former Amish used the money he received from TLC to pay part of his child support debt. Either way, the producers would not want you to know that someone who is supposed to be just entering the “outside world,” already owed child support money.
4. The Divorce
If there is one thing we unavoidably find out the longer reality shows stay on television, it is that things are not always as they seem to be in front of the cameras. The best example we can draw from the TLC lineup was when Matt and Amy Roloff announced that they were getting divorced back in 2015. The family that seemed to be so close in front of the cameras apparently wasn’t that close when it came to the relationship between mother and father.
The real reason behind the divorce was never really divulged to the crowd. As a matter of fact, people have only gotten hints of what may have played a part in the decision. One of those possible reasons came out in Matt Roloff’s book, Against Tall Odds. In the book, Roloff talks about how one of the many differences between him and his wife was their idea about commitment. And although he doesn’t explicitly name exceptions, he says that to him, most commitments were flexible and negotiable, while for his wife, all commitments were ironclad.
Well, this is not exactly plagiarism because the fields of the companies involved have nothing to do with each other. But at some point, the show Cake Boss was sued because of its name. It turns out that before the show made it to television, a software company from Seattle was already using the name Cake Boss. Most specifically, the company, which is called Masters Software, had named one of its softwares CakeBoss. They even had the domain cakeboss.com.
So you can imagine that as soon as the TV show started to blow up and gather followers all around the world, many people began to confuse the two. Perhaps it could’ve been good for the publicity of the software company, as they would surely get more traffic because of the TV show that goes by the same name, but they didn’t see it that way. Ultimately, Masters Software sued in 2010. Later that year, the two parts reached a settlement, but the specifics of the settlement were never released to the public.
2. One Last Jeremiah Controversy
One of the cornerstones of Amish culture is that they neglect most technology. Cars, computers, cell phones, and the Internet are big no-nos for people living in Amish communities. This was a side of their life that was enforced on the show Breaking Amish, especially by our favorite former Amish, Jeremiah.
This guy was keen on talking about how he had never encountered technology before arriving to play a role on the show. Well, it turns out this was just another lie that his former wife, Naomi, debunked when she decided to tell the world how fake Breaking Amish was. The first hilarious reveal on this subject was that despite Jeremiah claiming that he had never driven a car before the show, Naomi said that when he decided to leave the Amish, his parents bought him not one, but two cars to help him start a life in the outside world. Still on the subject of technology, Jeremiah also allegedly had a MySpace page and appeared on Facebook photos.
1. A Tight-Knit Family?
The cast of Cake Boss is well-known for rampaging inside the bakery and telling each other off during every single episode. However, the show also gives the sense that there is a tight-knit family behind the reality television show. After all, how would they have been able to keep this whole business running for so many years if all they did was fight like they do in front of the cameras? Well, it turns out that some of those fights happened for real.
You might remember the fated episode in which Buddy hit his last straw with his sister, Mary, after yet another burst of her incredibly inappropriate comments. It turns out, however, that unlike people are led to believe because of the playful tone of the show, that was a real raging discussion. It was so bad that Valastro really did fire his sister from the bakery. The only reason she returned later was because of the outcry from the fans of the show who missed the witty sister and her wildly inappropriate remarks.
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