Is TLC the Kiss of Death for Reality Families?

cake boss logoCake Boss' wholesome, family-friendly image is crumbling now that one of its co-stars is making headlines for sexual assault.

Remy Gonzalez -- top cake decorator and brother-in-law to the “Cake Boss” himself, Buddy Valastro -- was arrested earlier this month for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor. He's currently being held in New Jersey's Morris County Jail on $300,000 bail; if convicted he could face up to 20 years behind bars.

TLC's popular show about a family-owned, New Jersey bake shop ordinarily features a lot of family drama -- but nothing quite this shocking. The network is refusing to comment on the allegations, saying only:

“We support Buddy and the Valastro family during this very difficult and challenging time .... The network respects the family’s wish for as much privacy as possible, and as this doesn't involve us, we will not be commenting any further.”

But if you ask me, that's a lot of BS ...


First, if the network truly respected this family's wish for privacy, there wouldn't be a show! That's the whole point of reality TV, right? To follow real people and expose their deepest, darkest secrets for all the world to see.

Second, the official statement is quick to distance the network from the scandal, "...this doesn't involve us." Well, TLC, technically that isn't true. The show isn't only about cake decorating: It's also about running a family business. And, if the cameras follow a family documenting the lives of its members, aren't the scandals part of their lives, too? If Valastro's sister, Lisa, divorces Gonzalez because of this situation, won't that be impossible to avoid addressing on the show? Where do you draw the line?

After all, this isn't the first time that a reality family has crumbled on the network's watch.

Just look at another famous TLC couple: Matt and Amy Roloff from Little People, Big World. The couple has been plagued with divorce rumors since earlier this year, and their marital tension is likely to be at the core of the new season (which starts in September).

And who could ever forget the Gosselins (unfortunately, no one)? The famous reality couple of Jon & Kate Plus Eight fame were splits-ville once their show became a hit.

Unfortunately, many reality families break down because they simply can't handle the fame and fortune that goes along with stardom. But the question should be asked:

Why are so many of them on TLC?

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