“Gays can eat someone else’s pasta” were a few words that were heard around the world from Barilla company chairman Guido Barilla.
“I would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect, but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role,” Barilla said, adding that if gays “like our pasta and our advertising, they’ll eat our pasta. If they don’t like it, then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand.”
“We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family. If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn’t bother anyone else.”
As a huge ally to the gay community, I was offended by this messaging. It’s okay to have a difference of opinions, but it’s not okay to alienate an entire group of people and make comments like the above today. Respect to everyone is absolutely essential and that messaging was immensely disrespectful. There is no “classic family anymore.” Anyone can play a “fundamental role” and there are all types of families today.
These comments led to an international call for a boycott of all Barilla products. I won’t personally be buying their products and, truthfully don’t think their pasta is very good anyways.
There are other pasta companies putting out pro-gay messaging on social. Great time to capitalize media attention AND gain a few new customers!
Beekman 1802 posted this to Facebook:
Buitoni posted this to their Facebook page with the hashtag #PastaForAll (love this hashtag)
Ronzoni also posted this on Facebook:
“”Just like pasta, we believe families come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and orientations. We feel it is important to represent diversity in our advertising and will continue to do so in the future.”
Bertolli 1865 (Germany) posted this on Facebook:
Of course from all the backlash, a fake apology was released:
“Regarding my comments at the radio program La Zanzara, I apologize if my words generated misunderstandings or controversy or if they hurt some people’s feelings. In the interview I just wanted to underline the centrality of the woman’s role in the family. To be clear, I just want to specify that I do have great respect of every person, without any kind of distinction. I do respect gay people and everybody’s freedom of expression. I also said I do respect gay marriage. Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone.”
While we cannot undo words that have been said, we can apologize. To all of those that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.
— Barilla US (@BarillaUS) September 26, 2013
No offense, but I don’t think we “misunderstood” your words. We got them loud and clear.
Macaroni Grill Facebook page covered with calls to stop using Barilla
The Internet responds Barilla Pasta to via BuzzFeed