Pasta king, under fire, walks back anti-gay comments

The chairman of Barilla is apologizing after reportedly saying, 'If the gays don't like it they can go eat another brand.'

By Kim Peterson Sep 26, 2013 2:06PM
Guido Barilla (© Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)Barilla, the world's largest pasta maker, is scrambling to tamp down controversy Thursday after chairman Guido Barilla's anti-gay comments this week.

Speaking on an Italian radio show Wednesday, Guido Barilla (pictured) discussed why his company doesn't show advertising featuring same-sex couples. "I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family," he reportedly said on the show. "If the gays don't like it they can go eat another brand." You can hear the recording, which is in Italian, here.

Barilla went on to explain that for his company, the "sacral family" remains a core value, according to a writeup in The Huffington Post. He also said that he respects gay marriage, but has no respect for gay adoption because "this concerns a person who is not able to choose."
"You can't always please everyone not to displease anyone," he added. "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. The women are crucial in this."
Barilla's comments have drawn plenty of criticism on Twitter, Facebook (FB) and other sites, and it didn't take long for a boycott of Barilla products to begin.

"This is how freedom of expression works," wrote one Twitter user. "You have every right to ruin your company with your bigotry. Go for it." The #boycottbarilla hashtag was gaining steam Thursday on Twitter.

Barilla responded to the uproar by posting an apology and a clarification on the Barilla corporate site. "With reference to remarks made yesterday to an Italian radio program, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they hurt someone’s sensitivity," he said.

He added the following points:
  • "I have the utmost respect for anyone, without distinction of any kind."
  • "I have the utmost respect for gay people and for everyone's right to express themselves."
  • "I've also said -- and I would like to reiterate -- that I respect gay marriages."
  • "In its advertising, Barilla represents the family -- because it's what welcomes everyone."
Barilla pulled in more than $5 billion in sales in 2011, according to its annual report, and a profit of slightly more than $100 million.

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Tags: DramaFood
50Comments
Sep 26, 2013 2:52PM
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OK - I guess from now on I'll buy Barilla.

Ronbo36 and Antropy are exactly right - how can you not expect this guy to have an opinion? As a human being, he has an opinion, he's not forcing it down anyone's throat, he's just saying their marketing is more towards traditional families.

Sep 26, 2013 2:45PM
Sep 26, 2013 2:32PM
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Not everyone likes gays, or agree with their beliefs. And trying to force people to not have an opinion, or say anything that might offend them is ridiculous. I'm offended by them when i see them kissing and making out in public. But i don't see any of them apologizing for not keeping their beliefs, and actions to themselves. The fact that some gays do this stuff just to get a reaction from the general population and they should be held accountable. and I'm referring to a small percentage of the gay population. 
Sep 26, 2013 4:03PM
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Finally someone has the guts to stand up the liberal BS. I wil certainly buy his product.
Sep 26, 2013 3:41PM
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Nothing wrong with his comments at all. No wonder so many people hate gays.
Sep 26, 2013 4:08PM
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Nothing wrong with standing up for your values - even though some may disagree with him.  Values seem to be increasingly lacking in today's society, especially with our government legislators..
Sep 26, 2013 4:11PM
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Why is this even an issue, and why should you even have an opinion on it?  Seems like he was cornered into a polarizing question, and now its a big deal.  What does pasta have to do with homosexuality, nothing. move on
Sep 26, 2013 4:01PM
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Why do gays believe that their "rights" are more important than heterosexual rights?  Why their need to be militant and in our face about their "rights".  Tolerance and respect work both ways, those two things don't just flow in one direction.  They almost sound like "jihadists" who say, "if you're not with us, you're against us and we'll destroy you".

Sep 26, 2013 5:49PM
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I didn't read anything "anti" anything in this article, though the title suggests otherwise.
Sep 26, 2013 2:49PM
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Anthropy

 

You forgot to end your comment with (no pun intended).

Sep 26, 2013 3:27PM
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This opens the backdoor for "Chef Boy-R-Dee"....
Sep 26, 2013 4:16PM
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More Gay / Anti gay- - ''BS'' ! ! Maybe the people here at MSN $ $  $ should pull their head OUT! I am supposed to care about this- - - WHY- - -  exactly? ? ? Perhaps they should turn their attention to PUTIN- - I understand he is - - - ''ALL LOVE''- - - -  and his thoughts are '' still evolving'' ! ! ! !
Sep 27, 2013 6:14AM
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Hooray for him. He should take nothing back...
Sep 28, 2013 6:04PM
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Even tho' I don't genarally oppose Gays, or their agendas, I do oppose their rabid attacks on anyone and everyone that doesn't agree with their views. 

I guess, in their book, the public's abuse of their rights in the past now excuses their abuse of their opponents rights . . .  Strange how hypocrisy works, isn't it?
Sep 26, 2013 8:58PM
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What's next legal marriage for pedophiles or sickos marrying their donkey?
Sep 27, 2013 10:33PM
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everyone has a right to their opinion. now that gay's have the right to marry, they should shut their mouths. who cares if their gay. back off !!! i wonder what gay's say about us, who are not gay when they talk about straight people. i have never been prejudice against a group of people in my life. i believe in live and let live. but it get's a little harder each time gay's start bitching.
Sep 26, 2013 10:20PM
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the prejudice he tries to defend is no different than the ignorant beliefs put forth throughout history...  would people be offended if he said black and white couples shouldn't be able to adopt...  or that black people need to stay at the back of the bus.. or they are inferior.. or women... or any other protected class...  when gross ignorance and discrimination ensues from that "opinion" then you really don't have a right to it....  stupidity isn't acceptable...  
Sep 30, 2013 10:17PM
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For every **** you lose as a customer, you'll gain 4 straight ones.
Sep 30, 2013 10:10PM
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Stop bowing down and stick to your guns, I'm now a Barilla only pasta consumer for his **** comment.
 
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