Pasta maker Barilla is in hot water (sorry) over some remarks the company’s head made about gay families — and a stated preference for “traditional” marriage.
The Barilla gay boycott has not yet fully spread to American shores, but buzz is building in the press overseas about the controversial remarks.
Wednesday evening, fourth-generation Barilla boss Guido Barilla spoke on Italian radio about his distaste for gay families — and swore that “traditional” families only would appear in future Barilla pasta ads.
Barilla said of gay families:
“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company. I would not do it but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others… I don’t see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family.”
The issue of a Barilla boycott was immediately raised to Barilla, who then said he didn’t mind if gay people and their allies chose not to buy or eat Barilla pasta:
“Well, if they like our pasta and our message they will eat it; if they don’t like it and they don’t like what we say they will… eat another.”
Within a few hours, Barilla had addressed the gay families brouhaha boiling over by issuing a “sorry you’re offended” statement, saying:
“I apologize if my words generated misunderstandings or arguments, or if they offended the sensibilities of some people.”
Already, the Barilla boycott is catching on — with one famous Twitter user tweeting:
No more Barilla pasta for me! Go sell it to Putin you bunch of jerks. Read this article… http://t.co/71hnYVaG9S
— Sally Jessy Raphael (@SJRaphael) September 26, 2013
Barilla also said during the interview that he supported gay marriage, but did not believe that gay adoption was appropriate.