Barilla Tries To Make Good By Asking Gay People To Submit Videos Promoting Barilla Pasta

In a classic case of too little too late, Barilla has announced plans to establish a “more active, global leadership position on diversity, inclusion and social responsibility.”

In a very polished and corporate-sounding press release published Monday morning, the pasta giant promised to improve how it approaches diversity (a.k.a. gay people).

“Diversity, inclusion and equality have long been grounded in Barilla’s culture, values and code of conduct,” said Chief Executive Officer Claudio Colzani. “They are reflected in our policies and the benefits we provide to all employees, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.”

They are not, however, reflected in the company’s advertisements, as noted by chairman, Guido Barilla, back in September when he told an Italian newspaper: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family.”

“We are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do,” Colzani said Monday.

To prove the company is very, very sorry for the comments made by Barilla, it has announced an online contest that will be launched in 2014.

The contest will be designed to “engage people on diversity, inclusion, and equality.” Entrants from around the world will be asked to create short videos that represent the multifaceted nature of pasta, which will be submitted to the web community to be liked, shared, and voted on. The videos will be then judged by an expert panel and the winners will receive awards.

Because what better way to win over gay people than by giving them prizes?

The company also announced it has launched a Diversity and Inclusion Board, as well as appointed its first-ever Chief Diversity Officer.

“As a socially responsible company that serves and respects diverse consumers, we know we have to expand our commitment,” said Luca Virginio, Barilla’s executive director of communication and external relations. “Our goal is to do better by becoming a global corporate citizen and leader in diversity and inclusion, internally and externally.”

A global corporate citizen? Sounds like a phrase straight out of Mitt Romney’s playbook.

So there you have it, folks. Barilla has attempted to make good by creating a contest that will use gay people to make videos that promote Barilla pasta.

If that bothers you at all, just remember what Guido Barilla said back in September: “If the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.”

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #barilla #claudiocolzani #guidobarilla stories and more


  • Scott Gatz

    While their steps seem clumsy, I wonder if this brand could ever do anything to change our impression?

  • Polaro

    Guido Barilla as a Bukkake boy. Nothing less, and still maybe not then.

  • hooliganb

    @Scott Gatz:

  • VdV

    I’ve already made the switch and won’t bother switching back to Barilla. Further, this video contest could go horribly wrong for them. Buona fortuna, Guido.

  • adb

    Sorry, but there’s a lot wrong with this article that seems more interested in slinging mud (or dirty pasta water)…
    1. Saying “I’m sorry” is too little, too late. Appointing paid executives whose responsibility it is to improve diversity and inclusion in the workforce is more than many other offending companies have done.
    2. Diversity=”gay people”? That statement is stunningly narrowminded, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find other groups similarly disenfranchised in Barilla’s workforce.
    3. No mention in the article of Barilla submitting to the HRC Corporate Equality Index (which would quantify their progress) nor David Mixner’s role in this. I haven’t met him, but he doesn’t seem like an idiot nor a corporate shill.

    But, yes, the contest is an incredibly stupid and cheesy idea.

  • mz.sam

    I took Guido’s advice to now my heart…and stomach belongs to Galbani. Delicioso!!!

  • lailaichong

    I won’t win and receive awards so i won’t submit a vedio, but i will keep telling people don’t buy this brand.

  • Harley

    As a Pastaferian, I take great pride in knowing that the Almighty Flying Spagetti Monster has extended his noodley appendages down upon Barilla Pasta’s corporate elite and shown them the light of pasta inclusion. Too bad I just stocked up at Costco last week and won’t be needing any more pasta for like 20 years.

  • Red_Dragon_888

    This sounds like a job for Brian Kinney!!! But even he may find it impossible to rescue this company from the remarks of Guido.

  • Polaro

    They do realize that we did not forget that that smug fuk, Guido Barilla, still owns/runs the company that he inherited from his father? There is no amount of advertising that will let me forget that for every box of his “traditional” pasta that is sold money goes into his spoiled, arrogant Armani pocket.

  • dirknerd

    It’s so difficult being busy wife and mother. I went to the store the other night and decided to get some pasta and sauce, I remember the bad brand started with a B. I had forgot my phone so I couldn’t check. We are on a budget and I usually get Bertolli cause it’s only 1.98 and it’s not bad stuff, chunky good flavor a little too sweet. You can imagine my relief when I got home and looked up anti-gay pasta and there it was. Barilla the one not to buy. Oh and just to be clear. I am a gay man.

  • DennisBTR

    First, I threw out all my Barilla the day I heard about this issue and I will not buy anymore. However, what is it exactly that the Company would have to do to rectify their past mistake?

    It appears they already have an employee benefits policy that does not discriminate and they are now going to do some advertising to target the gay community.

    Does Mr. Barilla have to resign as head of his family owned company to atone for his mistakes? Perhaps the Company should make donations to gay charities? Support gay candidates for office? Denounce the Pope? Gay hiring quotas?

    It’s all about baby steps and bringing this Company and others around to realize their mistake. Grow up and get real – demanding extreme actions will get us nowhere. Let the gay groups work with Barilla to get them to where they need to be. Criticizing everything they do as “too little too late” is not helping. We are not the tea party where we demand all or nothing and demand it be done immediately.

  • Polaro

    @DennisBTR: Sorry, why would we bother to waste our time. It isn’t like anyone needs Barilla products.

  • Cam

    Here is an idea, disavow what the CEO said, or fire him.

  • jpcflyer

    Sounds like when Coors hired that Spawn-of-Cheney to buff up their “diversity” creed…

  • OutnProud

    Guido made his bed (of bigotry laden pasta)

    Needs to lay in it now and watch his sales/stocks plummet

  • Skooter McGoo

    A thought once uttered, can not be erased. Capitalistic freedom at work. I’ll pass, thank you.

  • alexsand

    They’re a big, worldwide brand. Oh that’s right: Ciao, Barilla!

Comments are closed.