Barilla Pasta chairman Guido Barilla says his company will never show homosexuals in any of their advertisements, and if his critics do not like his choice to feature only “traditional families,” well, they can “go eat another pasta.”
In a radio interview Wednesday, Barilla made the anti-gay comments, reports MSN Now on Sept. 26. The owners of the largest pasta maker in the world is now in some hot water over his comments, which have been perceived as offensive.
“We have a slightly different culture,” Barilla said. “For us, the 'sacral family' remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta. You can’t always please everyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals – who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families.”
Barilla added, “The women are crucial in this.”
Aurelio Mancuso, head of gay rights group Equality Italia, categorized Barilla’s comments as “offensive provocation” and called for a boycott of the company’s pasta in Italy.
The outcry prompted Barilla to apologize via a Facebook video Friday – a quick turnaround a day after the company was flooded with a barrage of complaints.
“Yesterday I apologized for offending many people around the world, today I am repeating that apology,” Barilla said. “Through my entire life I have always respected every person I have met, including gays and their families, without any distinction. I have never discriminated against anyone. I have heard the countless reactions around the world to my words which have depressed and saddened me.”
MSN News says Barilla “is one of Italy's biggest advertisers, and for many years has used the image of a happy family living in an idealized version of the Italian countryside, with the slogan: ‘Where there's Barilla, there's home.’”
What do you think of Barilla’s comments? If a person has traditional values, is he not allowed to voice them just because he is selling a product? There was nothing discriminatory or outright inflammatory in his original comments; Barilla feels a traditional family best represents his company's core values.
What are your thoughts? Sound off below.