DailyMail: Campaigners have called for a boycott of Barilla, the world’s biggest pasta maker, after the company said they would never feature gay people in their advertisements.
Company chairman Guido Barilla provoked outrage when he said that his idea of the ‘traditional families’ where the woman played a central part was ‘sacred’.
If gay people didn’t like it they could eat another brand of pasta, he said.
He said: ‘I would never do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect, but because I don’t think we are like them. ‘Ours is a traditional family where the woman has a fundamental role. ‘
Mr. Barilla told Italian radio Radio 24: ‘Our concept is not that of a gay family. ‘For us, the concept of the nuclear family is a fundamental value of the company.’
When the interviewer pointed out that gay people also eat pasta he said: ‘Okay, if they like our pasta and our branding let them eat it, otherwise they can choose another pasta. You can’t always please everyone. ‘
Mr Barilla also remarked that he was against gay adoption although he did support gay marriage.
The comments followed the launch of an initiative by Parliament Speaker, Laura Boldrini, on the role of women in advertising, in particular the prevalence of mothers serving the family at the table.
Aurelio Mancuso, from the campaign group Equality of Italy, called the remarks ‘an offensive provocation ‘ and demanded an immediate boycott of Barilla products.
As a wave of Italian MPs threatened to resign in support of Silvio Berlusconi, openly gay parliamentarian Alessandro Zan said: ‘I adhere to the boycott of Barilla and I urge other MPs, at least those who do not resign, to do the same.‘
The comments caused a storm on the web with Twitter #boicottabarilla (boycott Barilla) trending. Mr. Barilla later apologised saying he had ‘maximum respect’ for gays.
Well I know what brand of pasta I’ll be buying from now on!