It’s been a while since the gays have been ostracized by a major food brand now that Dan Cathy has been relegated to a farm upstate where he’s free to roam the fields of waffle fries, far away from a camera or recording device. Enter Guido Barilla, chairman of the world’s biggest pasta brand, Barilla.
“I would never do an advert with a homosexual family,” Barilla told Italy’s La Zanzara radio show Wednesday night. “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 added, before pouring a zesty marinara sauce of hate over gay adoption. “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.”
Barilla accounts for almost half of Italy’s pasta market and a quarter of that in the US, but its chairman’s anti-gay comments have prompted calls for a boycott.
“This is another example of Italian homophobia,” Alessandro Zan, politician and gay rights activist told The Independent. “I’m joining the boycott of Barilla and I hope other parliamentarians do the same.”
Realizing the PR nightmare on their hands, the company promptly released a statement, attributed to its chairman, emphasizing its “respect” for gays: “I’m sorry if my comments on La Zanzara have created misunderstanding or polemic, or if I’ve offended anyone. In the interview I only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family.”
Yeah, somehow openly insulting and devaluing a wide and diverse group of people, then essentially telling them to go cry about it to someone who gives a damn strikes us as deliberately polemical with little to no room for misunderstanding. So to Guido Barilla, we say:
UPDATE: Guido Barilla also released this “apology” via Facebook:
With reference to my statement made ??yesterday on La Zanzara, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, and if they have offended the sensibilities of some people. For clarity I would like to state that I have the deepest respect for all persons, without distinction of any kind. I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and freedom of expression to anyone. I also said and I repeat that I respect marriages between persons of the same sex. Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone.
Of course, another translation says that family is “a symbol of welcome and of suffering for all” — so, you know: six on one, half dozen the other.