Barilla, the classic Italian pasta company, has found itself in scalding hot water after its chairman said gay families have no place in its advertising.
“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company,” Guido Barilla said in an radio interview Wednesday, translated by the Guardian. “I would not [feature gay families in advertisements], but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others… [but] I don’t see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family.”
And if gay consumers don’t like it? “Eat another brand of pasta,” he said.
The comments sparked an immediate backlash around the world, both in the form of boycotts and a slew of negative customer commentary on Facebook and Twitter.
Others are linking to Ragu and other competitors.
Although Barilla has posted apologies on the company’s Italian Twitter and Facebook pages — “I have the utmost respect for gay people and for everyone’s right to express themselves,” he said — the company’s U.S. social media accounts have thus far remained silent, even as criticism on its American-based social media outlets continues.
Barilla’s U.S. office could not immediately be reached for comment.