• Thu, Sep 26 - 12:49 pm ET

Chairman Of Barilla Says He Doesn’t Want Gays Gay-ifying His Pasta Brand

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Mothers and fathers can’t even do a grocery shopping without running into a wall of Barilla pasta. With picky toddlers and limited palates, Barilla pasta might very well a staple in your house. But if you’re in any way straying from the “traditional family,” the chairman of the company says he doesn’t want you near his product.

Americablog.com reports that said chairman, Guido Barilla, announced on an Italian radio show that he “likes the traditional family,” which is why same-sex families will not be appearing in the private company’s advertisements. As for gay people, well,  “they can always go eat someone else’s pasta” if they disagree with the company’s credo. Don’t mind if I do!

 John Aravosis personally translates the following comments:

“Non faremo pubblicità con omosessuali, perché a noi piace la famiglia tradizionale. Se i gay non sono d’accordo, possono sempre mangiare la pasta di un’altra marca. Tutti sono liberi di fare ciò che vogliono purché non infastidiscano gli altri”.

“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.”

Not surprisingly, Barilla is walking back those “straights only” pasta comments. Aravosis personally translates again:

“With reference to statements made yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they have hurt the sensibilities of some people. In the interview I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family.”

Barilla is also reportedly against same-sex adoption, a double whammy of WTF. Consumers have been responding with a #boycottbarilla Twitter campaign:

boycottbarilla

Guido is now talking that same tired script about having “the utmost respect for any person, without distinction of any kind,” and “the greatest respect for gays and for the freedom of expression of anyone,” and he now “respects” gay marriage as well, and whatever dude I’m so never buying your pasta again.

Will you be buying Barilla pasta after these comments?

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  • Cee

    “If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta.”

    And I wont. The thing is, he forgets that straight, “traditional family” allies also can boycott his stuff. I know a few allies that just don’t go to Chick-Fil-A anymore.

    • nikki753

      Why can’t the bigots make things I don’t like? Chick-Fil-A is tasty as hell but I don’t go there. Barilla was good, too. Why can’t they just make gross things like canned pig’s feet? But then, if a boycott was easy, it wouldn’t mean as much. :(

    • Cee

      I never had Chick-Fil-A! I hear its delicious. A coworker of mine apologized because he said he’d still eat it because its that good. Whatever.
      I guess I will never know what I am missing, but pasta is easily replaceable, so this one will be fairly easy.

    • nikki753

      Had it once… a solid 10 years ago. It was good.

    • Sundaydrive00

      Its gross. I don’t understand the Chick-Fil-A hype. Yeah, their waffle fries are good, but their chicken is soggy. Who wants soggy chicken?

    • pixie

      I don’t even think Chick-Fil-A exists in Canada, so I’ve never had it either. And I buy store brand pasta because it’s all my poor-student budget will allow me to afford. I’ve been boycotting the bigots before it was cool. /hipster.
      But seriously, I’m one of the straightest people I know and even I hate the feigned acceptance that certain people in power display. However, just because I love the D, doesn’t mean my male friends who love the D or my female friends who love the V or any of my friends who love both are wrong for loving who they love or that they shouldn’t be accepted for who they are: lovely people and decent human beings who contribute to creating a better society. WHY CAN’T WE JUST ALL GET ALONG? *cries in corner* Then again, as a female, we went through similar struggles of acceptance not too long ago, and apparently, according to this guy, my role in life is to cook food for my future family.

    • Rachel Sea

      Boycotts make some statement, it’s true, but part of it is just voting with your money. Competitors benefit, and I don’t have to trouble myself that my gay dollars are enriching someone who disagrees with my existence.

  • Rachel Sea

    My (big gay) family eats a lot of pasta, and until just now, it was Barilla. I’m tempted to see if I can’t return the contents of my (big gay) pantry to the manufacturer.

    • Cee

      What is a big gay pantry like? Is it shiny? Mine just kinda has a lot of Jalapeno Kettle Chips. Is that gay pantry acceptable?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      It usually involves about 300 different types of herbal tea.

    • Tea

      I can vouch for this being 100% accurate.

    • Rachel Sea

      I don’t keep my 300 types of herbal tea in my pantry, I keep them in the cupboard over the kettle.

    • Tea

      Mine kind of ate the pantry, and my teapot collection has spread to every shelf in the house. Now I put canned goods in the linen closet because of the tea-sprawl.

      I have a problem…

    • Rachel Sea

      Someday I will have a house big enough to store and display all my China nicely. Because it’s so expensive, but so pretty, I buy single cups and saucers off ebay. I have many. I would love more teapots, but the ones I really love are REALLY more expensive than my miserly heart can stand.

    • Tinyfaeri

      It’s better than dolls.

      Er. No offense to anyone who collects those creepy, creepy dolls that watch me wherever I go and know all my secrets, the bastards.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Right? We have so much tea. It’s bloody ridiculous. I think part of it is because ‘tea sampler box’ is a good default gift for a woman you don’t know very well, and since we’re both women, we get twice as many of those. But yeah. Fucking tea. Every time I drink it, I just wish I was drinking something better.

    • Rachel Sea

      I started a Thing with some friends, because we all suffer from, what-the-fuck-am-I-supposed-to-do-with-all-this-tea. One of us puts all our unwanted tea in a bag (a really big bag) and gives it to a friend. That friends takes out everything they want, puts in their own unwanted tea, and passes it along. When it gets back to you, if any crappy tea you put in is still there goes in the compost/green waste/trash.

      I’ve gotten some really good tea that way, and I have sooo much more room in my cupboard.

    • jessica

      I’m going to have to steal your idea here. I think it could work for a lot of stuff my friends and I have lying around the house. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

    • Rachel Sea

      We do clothing swaps too, but those happen in person.

    • Cee

      I actually started with this with a couple of blends from Teavana not that long ago and I had my eye on a few of their teapots…even though I have two.

    • Tea

      Try enjoyingtea.com, their blends are fabulous and affordable. I will warn that 4 oz is a fair bit of tea and 8 oz is a rather large bag, so aim low when you guess amounts.

    • Emmali Lucia

      I have about a dozen, not 300. My pantry must just be bi-sexual. D:

    • Rachel Sea

      That’s the nice thing about being gay, there is a whole inclusive spectrum. Your big gay pantry can have all the kettle chips, mine has a lot of English condiments, hot sauce, beans, jarred tomato sauce and pasta – and alcohol, Jeebus, but there is a lot of alcohol.

    • Alex Lee

      I tried searching for a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” label for Barilla products online – sadly, I could not locate one.

      I suppose you could bring all the pasta back to the store saying “it has too much homophobia in it. Could I try something with less hate?”

    • Sundaydrive00

      The boxes do have a number to call for comments and questions. I suppose you could try calling and asking how to go about getting a refund for your homophobic pasta?

      Tell them Guido Barilla said to do what you want, and I want a refund.

  • jsterling93

    His first comments were bad enough but then his excuse is he “wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family” Because my main function in life is to cook dinner for my man of course.

    Offensive in multiple ways and multiple people :P

    • Rachel Sea

      There are two women in my family, so he should be twice as interested in my business. I think (like many heterosexists) what he really hates is the idea of hot, man-on-man action.

    • Sara610

      SUPERFAMILY!

    • Roberta

      and frankly, any hot man-on-man action involving his pasta would be none of his business in the first place.

    • G.S.

      OMG, that pissed me off WAY more than the gay comments, you have NO idea. >:( Seriously, it’s not like guys’ penises shrivel and fall off when they cook something! Sexist asshole!

      My grandmother completely lost her shit when I told her about the boycott, because she got all, “Well, if they care so much, THEY can pay all the salaries! It’s all sex! It doesn’t need to be in a pasta commercial!”

      So I’m like, “All they want is to be shown making pasta together in a commercial. It’s not like they’re just going to go off and fornicate all over it and make a commercial out of that!” Yeesh!

  • Mystik Spiral

    Whelp, no more Barilla pasta for me!

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I came to the comments to make the exact same comment. The EXACT one. Great minds think alike!

  • alice

    sigh. i loved their whole wheat pastas. CIAO, BARILLA!

    sidenote: why do owners/presidents/chairmen/CEOs of consumer goods have to be such dumbasses? make a good clean product, employ a fair and ethical production environment, and – unless it’s related to your product – keep your personal/political/religious beliefs to yourself.

    you don’t want to make a commercial featuring [insert whatever] because [insert whatever]? you don’t have to! so stfu about it!

    • JLH1986

      Here’s the thing about this. I agree about companies just not commenting on politics…ever. But he was asked directly by the interviewer if he would ever feature homosexual couples. Now as the chairman of a large company I would hope he would have better sense than to just blurt this out. I still think it was a ridiculous comment to make and I am in now way defending his response. But the interviewer likely knew what his response would be and so he asked to get his byline a bit larger.

  • SDA

    So if he wants to ‘highlight the role of the woman in the family’, why not feature a nice lesbian couple?

  • Tea

    This demands a photo shoot!

    I’ll get the frilly apron, ascot and pink shirt, and stuff my husband in leathers, chaps and a police cap.

    … The sad thing is we own all of these.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Not sad. Completely awesome.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Who doesn’t own chaps?

    • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

      This really should be a huge internet thing.

    • chickadee

      Love you guys. You should also pose with a Hate Chicken Sandwich.

    • Tea

      The problem is spouse guy would still eat it. Well, mostly their fries. He mourned their amazing fries when they got all hatey, because he worked in a mall and that was his favorite lunch stop.

    • chickadee

      I loved the nuggets. LOVED. But now they taste like intolerance and evil.

    • whiteroses

      I agree. I say we ALL dress up in some amazing sparkly dresses (I’m sure I can get a little sparkly vest for Baby Roses) and heels and send a ton of pictures to their corporate headquarters.

    • Tea

      Good plan! All things sparkly!

      I’ll skip the dresses. I’m rubbish at drag and have weak knees, but you gave my husband terrible, wonderful ideas.

    • Emmali Lucia

      But only if I get to wear a binder and boxer shorts.

  • Momma425

    How about, instead of announcing that you refuse to make a commercial with a homosexual couple in it, you simply DON’T MAKE THE COMMERCIAL. Nobody really needs to come out and say anything about it- there are a lot of commercials that feature heterosexual families and at the same time don’t make a public announcement that they are choosing to discriminate.
    I don’t buy this brand anyway. Too expensive. I get the generic all the time, because IMO noodles are noodles.

    • Rachel Sea

      I’ve bought it for years because it is always the cheapest. It’s hard to beat $1 a box (where I live anyway).

  • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

    That’s cool, he has a right to his opinion. Just like I have a right not to buy his products. :)

  • personal

    Ah, heck. Now I know why it was on sale today. I bought 5 boxes…

  • http://www.8bitdad.com Zach Rosenberg

    First, I’m disappointed beyond belief that this story wasn’t by Maria Guido and at least subtitled “Guido On Guido”.

    Second, I do believe it’s time to buy this guy a million boxes of that joke pasta shaped like dicks and have it all delivered to his house. I forget what it’s called – maca-weenie, or something. My wife got a box as a joke gift for her bachelorette party and a year later, I ate it gleefully as I made a million jokes about eating a box of dicks.

    • Koa_Beck

      Tell me about it. I wish she had been on deck today!

    • http://www.8bitdad.com Zach Rosenberg

      Seems like she should get written-up, just to keep her frosty.

  • Fabel

    Ronzoni it is.

  • Ashley

    Whelp. Good thing the store brand is pretty much just as good.

  • Face2098

    This would be the perfect time for San Giorgio to make a commercial about how they have a bunch of different pastas and a bunch of different families that eat them.

  • AlexMMR

    What other brands have veggie infused pastas? The only reason I’ve ever bought Barilla instead of other brands is because I’m trying to kid myself into believing I’m serving something more nutritious than a pile of white flour.

    Can someone point me to a different pasta so I can keep the delusion going?

    • CMJ
    • Sundaydrive00

      I think Whole Foods does. We started buying their organic pasta because it tastes better and is just about the same price ($1.29). Plus its made in Italy, which just makes it sound so much better then pasta made in the US.

      How does organic pasta imported from Italy not sound so much tastier then Barrila?

    • Tinyfaeri

      Ronzoni has a veggie one, and a mostly white pasta with added fiber and protein.

    • Emmali Lucia

      Try the ancient grains quinoa pasta, you have to cook it a bit longer but there’s really no difference in taste

  • Jules

    Ugh Barilla sucks anyway. In Italy, it’s one step above store brand pasta.

    • Spiderpigmom

      Thing is, most people don’t live in Italy (to state the obvious). Barilla is clearly the most palatable pasta that can be found in my local grocery.

    • Jules

      All I meant is that no one should like they’re missing out on some great pasta experience if they choose to boycott Barilla from now on.

      I don’t know where you live but if you shop at Walmart at all, the last time I was there I noticed they stock De Cecco, which is a great pasta! Granted, that was about four years ago but I assume they still have it.

  • matt30fl

    I don’t know the true feelings of the owner, but this looks like the modern axiom of “any press is good press” bearing fruit again.The truth is this will get his company name in the press, some people may boycott it, but it won’t have any negative impact on his business. Boycotts main impact is to boost the morale of the participants, and they quickly fade with almost never having any lasting or even noticeable impact on the target. The memory of Barilla pasta being in mentioned will linger long after 99% of the people who see this remember why and as a result they will be more likely to buy it.

  • organic pasta eater

    We all know a lot of people out there have different opinions, but when you impart where you stand on those really sensitive topics, then you’ve just dug yourself a hole.

    I don’t buy Barilla, due to the fact that it’s not organic and now I have a second reason not to. Two strikes against this company now and I now predict a slump in sales.

  • Ginny

    Well I’ll be making sure nobody in my house buys this stuff anymore. Creamette was always better anyway.

  • Amber

    That’s cool. I’ll respect his wishes and just purchase a different brand of pasta.

  • JLH1986

    I still think he’s a dbag and I won’t be eating Barilla anymore but in the interest of honesty he actually said “Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertising, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta.” Which is about .01% less offensive.

  • Byron

    I separate my culinary desires from my politics. I love pasta and Barilla has the most variety and pretty high quality in pasta. I don’t see it as a thing that is used for picky kids but rather as a spectacular canvas to paint awesome flavors on. I see no reason to change that just because they don’t wanna advertise with gay people or some silly thing like that. I don’t remember one pasta company who has done specifically gay ads in fact so it’s a non-issue for me.

  • Emmali Lucia

    It’s times like these I’m very happy I have a gluten intolerance. All my pastas are super hippie quinoa pasta that are probably made my gay people who get paid a living wage in sweat-shop free workplaces in the USA.

  • WrongMamma

    odd that this site is advertising for Chik-fil-a in one story but not on this one. . .way to go.

  • sasareta

    At least he isn’t racist.

    • Courtney Lynn

      No. Just a homophobic asshat.

  • Courtney Lynn

    There’s other pasta out there and that’s what I’ll be buying.