During an interview on an Italian radio show on Wednesday, Guido Barilla, the CEO of the privately-owned Italian pasta maker Barilla, said (translated): “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.” On Thursday he apologize (translated): “I have the utmost respect for gays and the freedom of expression of anyone…I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family.” In response, gay rights activists in Italy have launched a boycott of Barilla, the world’s leading pasta maker with 40-45% of the Italian market (and 25% of the US market).
Yesterday, Catholic.org posted: “In the age of political correctness, Barilla’s comments are sure to invite a firestorm of controversy. However, similar to the Chick-fil-A controversy he may also see an outgrowth of support from people who are weary of the militant same-sex lobby insisting on being constantly featured in the public spotlight.” Also: “Homosexuals are angry because they cannot hijack the Barilla brand for their message. Barilla has the right to choose its brand image.”