A recent headline in a New York newspaper reads, "Barilla: ‘Gays can eat someone else’s pasta.'"
The complete sentence made by Chairman Guido Barilla on an Italian radio show is:
“I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go and eat another brand."
Furthermore, he supports gay marriage (illegal in Italy) but he is against gay adoptions.
He made it clear that people can act as they see fit provided they don't disturb those around them, but he simply is not going to feature a gay couple in ads for his product. Such an ad would be in conflict with his own company's values.
Barilla pasta is the world's largest pasta maker with about half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that here in the U.S., but gay activists now will seek to put a big dent in the company's brand popularity.
Mayor Thomas Freeman of upstate Avon (NY) said he disagrees with the remarks and that he feels sorry for Barilla if that's what he feels. He also said he hoped sales didn't dwindle too much because the job market would suffer. The Avon plant had brought 140 jobs to the village of 3,700.
Barilla has since apologized for hurting anyone's sensitivity.