You’ve probably come across Barilla pasta before, even if you don’t know the name, you would recognize the packaging and logo.
That’s because Barilla is a dominant pasta brand in Italy; owning nearly half the Italian pasta market share and approximately 25% of that in the US. Well, that was until Guido Barilla, the company’s Chairman opened up his big old dumb mouth on an Italian radio show back in 2013:
“I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand. For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company. Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”
Barilla was on a roll. Worried that he wasn’t being too specific about his beliefs, he zeroed in on Gay adoption:
“I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.”
The days following his comments, he issued a typical, evasive apology. You know the kind that starts out with “if I offended anyone”…
With reference to my statements yesterday to the press, I apologize if my words have offended some people. For clarity I would like to point out that I have the deepest respect for all people, without distinction of any kind. I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and freedom of expression. I also said, and repeat, that I have respect for marriages between people of the same sex. Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and love for everyone.
Rightfully, there was outrage, boycotts and protests. I unfortunately was either out of the country or not reading news that week. Not sure what Barilla’s market share is today almost two years after the , but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the blue packaging and red logo.