Talk about leaving a bad taste in the mouths of some consumers. Guido Barilla, chairman of Italy’s world-famous Barilla pasta, sparked outrage after saying on an Italian radio show that he would only feature the “classic family” in his advertisements. And to make matters worse, he said if people didn’t like that, well buy someone else’s pasta. Capiche?

Speaking on Italy’s Radio 24 on Wednesday, the 55-year-old, a fourth-generation Barilla, said: “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 added 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 them and they will eat another brand.”

Needless to say, his views didn’t sit well with many people, especially those leaving comments on one of the company’s Facebook pages.

Valerie Watson Longtime purchaser, brand-new boycotter. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but when you run a company and express a negative opinion about a large percentage of your customer base, don’t be surprised if your sales figures plummet.

David De Maria I’m Italian, I’m gay, I’m married legally to a man, I have three adopted children. I had Barilla pasta for dinner last night. Today, tomorrow and forever more I will choose another brand of pasta. Good bye Barilla! You lose!!!

Charlie Davidson “Traditional Family” implies mother, father, children. Leaves out single parents, working moms, widows, widowers, divorced, gays, adopted, mixed race families, re-married, sister wives (there goes Utah). If you came from one of these types of families, Barilla Pasta just told you to eat someone else’s pasta.

Barilla issued a clarification on Thursday, posted to the Barilla website. He said in part: “I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they hurt someone’s sensitivity.  For clarity, I would like to point out that I have the utmost respect for gay people and for everyone’s right to express themselves. I’ve also said — and would like to reiterate — that I respect gay marriages. In its advertising, Barilla represents the family — because it’s what welcomes everyone.”

Yay, another faux-pology to add to the ever growing list of faux-pologies.


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  • I’m not sure what the issue is. He clearly said these are his views and he wants his company to reflect that and if anyone else disagrees then they can simply give their money to another company. That’s pretty straightforward. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. We cannot change someone’s values and opinions just because we don’t agree with them. Just don’t buy his product. There are a million other pasta companies.

  • Blue

    I applaud him for not being afraid to voice his opinion & to uphold the view of a classic family. Like it, fine. Don’t like it? Well do what the man said & buy another brand of pasta. That’s fine too. Everyone is not going to have the same view points on jump on a bandwagon just so they can continued to be liked or popular. That’s reality

  • SayWhat

    It seems to me that some minorities are protected. We have had several articles discussing the erasure of black people, and (dark skin) black women in particular, and each and every time the majority opinion seems to be don’t watch, don’t buy….so why is it different for gays? Whites love to tell us how we should start our own companies if we want to be represented, but want us to be up in arms when they are discriminated against? Yes there are minority gays, but you get my point.

    If this person is a traditional, catholic Italian, then his comments make sense. He doesn’t seem to concerned with declining sales, so why should I be?

  • cocochanel31

    Was he asked his stance? I support his opinion and agree with it actually, but was there a reason to purposely alienate his market? Hope he has alot of savings since we all know what is about to happen!

  • Common Sense

    It always comes down to the money.