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QUESTION: When A Public Figure Apologizes For Homophobia, Do We Forgive And Forget?

guido-barilla-pastaLast week, the CEO of Barilla Pasta, Guido Barilla (yes, that’s his real name) said that he would never use a same sex couple in an advertisement, and if gays didn’t like it, we should go eat another pasta. Well, word got out and that’s exactly what we did. A boycott ensued, and the backlash was so intense that Guido Barilla himself gave a very public apology.

We’ve seen this a great deal with actors, public figures, and brands that get caught up in public declarations of homophobia. With most, intense public pressure leads them to backpedal and subsequently apologize, and all is well until the next brand/public figure/actor screws up. So our question to you, dear reader, is:

When a brand or personality exhibits homophobia, faces the backlash, and subsequently apologizes…do we simply forgive and forget?


By:          Rob Smith
On:           Oct 1, 2013
Tagged: , ,
    • fagburn

      Clearly not.
      The gay hysterics will never forgive anyone.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 7:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ron Jackson

      I can forgive them their homophobia but I still will not buy their products.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 7:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake357

      @fagburn: Apologies are like assholes… I’m not concerned with another hollow apology communicated out of P.R. pressure. What does he have to apologize for anyway? He spoke his mind. Now we know where he stands and we can make our choices accordingly. Words are pointless. Barrilla wants to make amends? Then start doing something.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 7:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Red_Dragon_888

      I just know one thing, he hasn’t done enough so far and I so not see in the near future that he will do what it takes to get forgiveness.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo

      @Jake357: Well said, Fagburn is in bed with the Heil anyway so what he thinks is less than worthless. Why Queerty lets Anti-Gay people troll is beyond me.

      If an apology is sincere there is always time to listen, empty apologies mean nothing, and get no respect, and the person making them loses credibility.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 8:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jckfmsincty

      No. Pasta is pasta. Other brands are just as good.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      Your picture is good because it was a “mini farfalle” apology!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      I had to look up what farfalle means, it’s bow-tie. That fits pretty well since in America it seems that only right-wing nitwits on TV wear bow ties.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @the other Greg: lol Not only they wear bow-ties, though. In fact, Jesse Tyler Ferguson has a line called “Tie the Knot” with his partner, which supports marriage equality efforts.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      Two words: Dan Cathy. He never apologized for his personal beliefs, and his restaurant franchise is going as strong as ever. Boycotts are the childish knee-jerk reaction to someone/something that doesn’t perfectly fit the boycotter’s ideals. And let’s be honest: rarely do they have any affect on those being boycotted.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @BJ McFrisky: There is nothing childish about deciding not to spend your money in support of a figure/brand who blatantly ostracizes you. If you wish to keep giving them your money, feel free, but I will not. It really doesn’t matter to me if the company crumbles — re: your “not having any affect” comment — it’s more of a personal decision to shop elsewhere when situations like this arise. I have done so in the past + will continue to do so.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      As far as Dan Cathy goes, I will never eat at Chik-fil-A + a lot of the people who rushed to his restaurants after his comments were bigoted idiots who shared those views. If other people keep eating there, they’re free to do so.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • loua61

      @BJ McFrisky: Sad but true. I went to BJ’s this weekend to do my weekly shopping and Barilla was the only brand they sell. Then I went to my local supermarket and they were on sale 10 for $10. Sadly since I am on a budget I caved and purchased them. Plus we are only 4% of the population, will the boycott from the gay community really matter to his overall profits, sadly not. I’m surprised he even cared enough about our community to even attempt an apology.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn

      @Jake357: Can you tell me the names of CEOs of mega corporations who you agree with on every political issue?
      I’d put it a zero.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @fagburn: Guido Barilla isn’t just an executive of the company, he is the family brand. Besides which, the quote about keeping your mouth closed + letting people think you a fool vs. opening your mouth + removing all doubt comes to mind. When the figure is brazen enough to make these views public + those views also affect the way they cater (or don’t) to you/your community, it makes a difference.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn

      @fredo777: Not sure how this has become such a huge issue – though seemingly only for apolitical/right-wing gay men who want to show they’re oppressed by Italian TV pasta ads, and think not shopping is a route to liberation…

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @fagburn: It became a huge issue because it sparked such a reaction that people were trending the Boycott Barilla (in so many words) topic on Twitter shortly after the news broke. But it seems that your only interest is being flippant/dismissive about the issue. So, I’ll let you get on with that.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      If someone is ignorant about gay people because they have been raised in a certain way, then it may be they never knowingly meet anyone gay, and rely on stereotypes transmitted to them by family and friends, and the media.

      If they say something crass like Mr Barilla did, and then have this pointed out to them, learn they made a mistake, and then apologise, the smart thing to do is to graciously accept the apology and then observe future behaviour.

      Churlish “throwing down the handbag” by refusing to accept and apology, and distance traveled, only makes us look querulous, and in the long run it will not end well, for US.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @Derek Williams: TYPO “and apology” should read “any apology”

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kestrel

      His apology becomes real when the thing he spoke out against – this time it’s a commercial featuring a same sex couple – is done.
      So, when are the auditions for the “Gay couple loves pasta!” ad?

      THEN, it’s real. Until then? Prince, San Giorgio, Ronzoni et al will get my pasta dollars, few as they may be.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NeptunesTwin

      Put a same sex couple in a commercial and we will accept the apology as being real!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @Derek Williams: Just because someone offers an apology doesn’t mean that you have to accept it, especially if you question/doubt its sincerity/motives behind it. He stands to gain from said apology, due to the whole PR/image shitstorm his comments potentially created.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      For me, it’s either store brand or Barilla.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @fredo777: To purchase what and where you desire is your right as an American, but an organized boycott movement is pointless. None of us can be forced into purchasing anything . . . er, except Obamacare, apparently.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kestrel

      Of course boycotting won’t end a business empire but why should I give them even an extra cent?

      So far, Chik Fil A won’t get my meager chicken sandwich budget. But Hobby Lobby will never see my ass in there – that company’s owner is positively of the gays-must-die stripe.

      Sweet Frog (frozen yogurt place) actually promotes and hands out the F.R.O.G. Christian stickers!

      Will it topple their business? No. But why not do what we can?
      And don’t forget that not only gays will avoid them. A significant number of non-gay people (ok, my friends) will take note and spend their cash elsewhere.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @fredo777: Sorry, *Bertolli. I keep getting those brand names mixed up. lawls

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @BJ McFrisky: I don’t fault organizers/activists/consumers for staging boycotts in response to matters like this, though. Even if they don’t force the company to its knees, it still brings more attention to what they did + helps to tarnish (however lasting the effects are) the brand’s public image. Which, hopefully, makes other companies more mindful in the future. Barilla probably won’t go under, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t help a competitor who is openly courting consumers like myself + not exclusionary in their policy/marketing.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @Derek Williams: Agreed. It sounds cliché, but ants are more attracted to honey than they are to vinegar. If we would only strive to prove that we’re mature enough to accept someone’s prejudices, rather than throwing a fit every time an individual claims to be a proponent of traditional marriage, then we’d probably be taken a lot more seriously.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • krystalkleer

      it’s all about brand’n yer brand…in the end!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @BJ McFrisky: “…accept someone’s prejudices, rather than throwing a fit every time an individual claims to be a proponent of traditional marriage…”

      aka “Shut Up + take my money!”

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • inlandempire

      Actions speak louder than words. When he does advertisement with a same sex couple, then I will believe his apology is sincere.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marc sfe

      @fagburn: Look in the mirror. It’s okay for the xtian talibangelicals to boycott Home Depot, Starbucks, JC Penney et al, but we can’t boycott Barilla? Take a good long hard look in the mirror buddy boy because you’re mirroring so big it’s not even funny.

      I forgave him the minute he said what he said but I don’t have to support his company by buying his product. Boycotts work both ways and you are like the pot calling the kettle black.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marc sfe

      @jckfmsincty: and many a darn sight better!!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo

      @marc sfe: Fagburn is on record as supporting the laws in Russia, allowing them to murder us without consequence, that should tell you all you need to know about how much he values us.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @fredo777: Hey, by all means, don’t buy Barilla if it makes you feel better about yourself. But don’t expect everyone to find your cause noble, because anyone over the age of 30 understands that boycotts are only feel-good actions for those doing the boycotting. But hey, knock yourself out. It’s your right.

      @2eo: Where, specifically, does fagburn state he supports Russia’s anti-gay policies? Where is this “record” you speak of? Or was your comment yet another fictitious, malicious swipe to diminish the opinions of those with whom you disagree?

      Proof or apology? Which do you offer?

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      What a shock, BJ McFrisky and Fagburn once again use any excuse to attack the gay community.

      I especially love BJ’s lie that Dan Cathy never apologized but his restaurants are going just as strongly as ever.

      Really? Thats funny since not only are profits down, but they already lost a store in Atlanta directly because of the boycott.

      But I guess you figure lying is ok if it helps you make your phony point. You must really hate gays to continually lie to defend every single bigot who attacks us.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo

      @Cam: Are we really surprised.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @BJ McFrisky: I’m over 30, actually, + I think that’s a ridiculous way of looking at it. It’s not a feel-good action to stop patronizing those who alienate us in favor of those who don’t. It’s letting your wallet (or purse) do the talking.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schwma

      Not interested in his apology. He’s an asshole. If the company fired him and did something significant to atone, then maybe.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dxley

      NEVER. I’d rather have my head cut off before I do any forgiving. Enemies ’til the day of doom!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      It’s always amazing what new intellectual contortion the righties will get into. As exemplified here most often by BJ McFrisky, a new mantra is: Boycotts don’t even work, they’re just “feel-good actions.”

      If boycotts don’t even work, why did Barilla apologize at all?

      Usually, mantras of the modern right can be traced back to Ayn Rand, so it’s interesting that there’s an example of a successful boycott in her novel “The Fountainhead.” She writes disapprovingly, of course, of the successful boycott (of the fictional New York Banner newspaper), but it’s still successful so the plot element seems ironic in this context.

      Well, BJ may deny being at all influenced by Ayn Rand, but it’s never been obvious what his influences ARE except that he always takes the homophobe side!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh

      “When a brand or personality exhibits homophobia, faces the backlash, and subsequently apologizes…do we simply forgive and forget?”

      No, and here’s why: We have no way to know whether the apology is sincere or just a case of desperately trying to remove the foot from their mouth in the interest of preserving profits or assets (as in one’s public image).

      And some actions are so heinous they deserve no forgiveness – like trying to oveturn an anti-discrimination law after losing such a case in court (Darden).

      If the company makes policy changes to better support their workers, good. They should do that because it’s the right thing to do – not under threat of a boycott.

      In the case of Barilla, his comments make clear that his approach is all about catering to one group through the exclusion of another. And once said, the damage is done. An apology won’t undo the unmeasurable damage those statements have done. We can tell people to grow a thicker skin all we like, but the reality is that every comment like this is just one more arrow slicing up our self-esteem, not to mention the aid it provides our real enemies.

      So no, I will not forgive and forget. And I will not be buying Barilla’s products. He chose up sides when he made his comments, and now he’ll have to live with that choice.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh

      @BJ McFrisky: Speaking for myself, it’s not about deluding myself into believing that my personal boycott will have any effect on Barilla.

      It’s about not being complicit in my own oppression.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh

      @fredo777: Exactly my thoughts.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @Elloreigh: Gracias. I was just going to say how eloquently you summed up the situation.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra

      Barilla made his feelings about us perfectly clear. We’re not real families, we shouldn’t be allowed around children and we can get married as long as we don’t bother normal, straight people.
      There’s lots of brands of pasta out there. And several of Barilla’s competitors have stepped forward with gay friendly ads. The choice is out there for each of us to make.
      Obviously Barilla doesn’t want to lose ours or our allies high disposable income as he has made several public apologies since the first incident.
      Words and PR releases are cheap. Start on that ad featuring a gay family, Barilla.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EManhattan

      When he apologizes for insulting gay families and starts running ads with a variety of families, including gay families, I will accept that apology.

      He has only apologized for “upsetting” people – he has not apologized for his anti-gay activities, and so far as we know he intends to continue them. He just won’t talk about them. This is not acceptable to me, so I am taking his advice, and will only eat other brands of food.

      Some Barilla-owned brands which don’t have “Barilla” in the name:

      Alixir — alcoholic beverages,
      Crisp’N Light — biscuits, cookies,
      Cucina Mediterranea — Frozen main dishes,
      Fantasie Del Sole — many food products,
      First Fast — coffee, other food products
      Italy’s #1 Pasta — pasta,
      Macine — baking powder, salt,
      Mulino Bianco — baked goods,
      Natura Al Dente — many food products,
      NutriPlus — pasta,
      Orizzonti — coffee, other food products
      Pan Di Stelle — biscuits, cookies,
      Pavesi — Coffee,
      Pavesini — baked goods,
      Plus — sauces,
      Restaurant Creations — pasta sauces,
      Ringo — baking powder, biscuits, cookies,
      Ritornelli — biscuits, cookies,
      Share The Table — baking pans,
      The Choice of Italy — pasta,
      Voiello — coffee, other food products
      Volare — semolina-based snack foods

      Oct 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • andy_d

      @fagburn: There’s sometimes a difference between taking a political stand and actively promoting hate. Though I may not agree with a company’s political stand, I will boycott them if they actively promote hate against ANY group.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zzQQzz

      I still don’t eat at Darden Restaurants, Cracker Barrel, etc. I won’t ever eat Barilla again. My choice.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1

      Gee I thought he preferred or didn’t care whether or not we bought any of his crap foods. I just took his advise is all. I’m fine with that.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seattle79

      I feel like Guido Barilla stated his true opinion when making his original statement. Obviously, that opinion has cost him and his company some customers. I have purchased Barilla products often but will now move on to other brands. Ciao!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • denvermtnbiker

      A gaffe is when a politician or corporate official says what they really think. In terms of apologies, actions speak louder than words, and we haven’t seen any actions. So the clearest best is that his original words are still what he personally thinks, and will continue to motivate his company’s actions. Eat more Bertolli!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsp

      Russia travel boycott, check. Stoli boycott, check. Chick-fil-a boycutt, check. Barilla boycutt, check. Able to spend my $$$ in places and business’ who respect all as equals, PRICELESS!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsp

      Meant last two as boycott… ;)

      Oct 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • barkomatic

      If he backs up his apology with action and his company releases and ad with gay couples then I’ll forgive and buy the pasta again. As long as some fool CEO doesn’t make a homophobic remark, then I actually don’t really care if they release gay ads. However, if they do then they basically need to sponsor a float at the gay pride parade in order for me to get over it.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @Elloreigh: I agree that one should speak their conscience, even be it with their wallet, but surely you understand that your effort doesn’t make any difference to corporations the size of Barilla. It’s for self-gratification that you’ll choose a different brand. I’m not judging, I’m just sayin.’

      @Cam: Guess again. Huffington Post headline from winter 2013: “Chick-fil-A Sales Soar in 2012 Despite Bad PR.”

      Oct 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport

      Tricksy editors – you’ve loaded the question so that no fair-minded person could possibly say yes. With respect to this schmuck, there can be no serious question as to whether his apology is sincere or not: it, like most from public figures, are calculated moves to mitigate financial or other risk.

      As a general principle, if it’s more likely than not that a person’s remorse is sincere, then I think forgiveness is appropriate. Indeed, I think Hannah Arendt is correct: without forgiveness to break the cycle of retribution, civilization would be impossible.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Changeagent

      Well, perhaps in consideration of access to high grade quality pasta. Kitchens are important…

      Oct 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan down in Florida

      The initial question was phrased incorrectly. It should have read “after someone attacks you for an intrinsic part of your humanity do you stand up for that humanity or roll over like a B&D slave and ask for more?”

      Oct 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LubbockGayMale

      Forgive, maybe… Forget? NEVER!!!!!

      Oct 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran

      “I had a no idea they was a so many gay people. Pleasa forgiva me! Money she’a talks.”

      —Guida Barilla

      Oct 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh

      @BJ McFrisky: I think it’s rather much to characterize my decision to act according to my conscience as “self-gratification” (creepy).

      But yes, I am speaking my conscience and acting accordingly by not buying Barilla products. I already stated that I don’t expect it to have any effect on Barilla’s bottom line. That’s not the goal, which would be futile (not to mention petty). Barilla is free to say whatever he wants, and to reap the consequences thereof. You can certainly say that my not buying their products is of no consequence given the size of the company, and you would probably be right. That doesn’t necessarily mean that individual consumers are the only part of this equation, though. Barilla doesn’t operate in isolation; it has suppliers, distributors, etc. Barilla’s statements could have an effect on those relationships, and that may be related to why he’s trying to repair his company’s reputation.

      But I can’t pretend to know his motivation – it’s just speculation. I won’t pretend to know what the effect (or non-effect) of this will be, either. And neither do you, so you can stop pretending otherwise.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hillers

      Do I forgive? Eh…

      I have the feeling that in most cases, public figures are apologizing as a part of a damage control move as opposed to being motivated by a personal change in beliefs. It’s a business decision, not genuine contrition. In many cases, the damage has been done.

      So, forgive? Maybe. Forget? Never.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mdventura

      @Kestrel: Agreed – but there is strength when we ask what pasta is used at restaurants – and then order a non-pasta selection. That word can be powerful.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • billforsyth

      He is entitled to his own opinions but as a businessman it seems very foolish for him to wilfully offend his customers and their friends ,families and the many others who find his views offensive.I as a gay man do not live in an isolated vacuum like many others I have family and friends who see an attack on me as an attack on them.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • doug105

      @zzQQzz: Shareholder at Cracker Barrel changed that policy long ago, the chairman wasn’t happy.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unreligious

      @the other Greg: Actually farfalle means butterfly. Where exactly did you look it up?

      Oct 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • markhfreeman

      When they put out a new version of Pasta Penne that is bigger at one end (and hopefully uncircumcized) then I will consider it a real apology.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffinsydney

      Not a matter of forgiving; Forgiven!
      However it is a matter of forgetting, and I will not/cannot forget what was said and then his discussion of his very well thought out point.

      He has been motivated to retract his statement (now) out of greed, and for the ongoing health of his business.
      I feel no genuine feeling coming from this man of having mis-spoke.

      His statement was self centered, and as someone commented the first day of this debacle, what you say first is really how you truly feel.

      I say let him go and stick his Penne up his brass extruder.
      I will never purchase another Barilla product.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robho3

      Yeah this guy probably became aware the the power of the gay dollar. If he is truly sorry then he should make an ad with a gay couple/family in it.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @robho3: That would be a smart move, but it can’t be just trotted out the very next day. Ad campaigns take weeks to prepare.

      In the meantime, he has said he will meet with LGBT representatives (whoever they’ll be is anyone’s guess), so that’s a start.

      As for the so-called “power of the pink dollar”, we’re only 5-10% of the population. Any real power we have comes from straight allies. It’s important to be rational in dealing with this. Mr Barilla sincerely believed in what he said, and has been surprised that there was any disagreement with his opinion. He is now in a headspin of re-education which won’t happen overnight.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cyn

      I’m all for a noticeable dip in their bottom line for a time, even if they hurry and whip out a gay pasta commercial.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro

      Plenty of other brands to buy. I will remember the Barilla brand forever. And, like Chik-fil-A, I will never buy it again. Shelf space is very limited. I predict Barilla disappears in more than one major chain.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffinsydney

      @Polaro: From, ‘Your Lips to Gods Ears’

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will L

      His original comment was too heart-felt and sincere. Making a clumsy remark and apologizing for it immediately is one thing. That’s not what he did. He isn’t sorry he said it, he’s sorry we heard it.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will L

      And further, if you truly want to make a statement AND help others, buy up as much Bertolli pasta as you can and deliver it to your local food closet. Let’s support the truly supportive companies.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eiswirth

      Forgive and forget…that may be the right thing to do, ethically, but I’m a realist and I don’t believe, in his heart, he’s changed his opinion. Not that, over time, he can’t be more accepting, but I believe the pressure by his financial advisors was the reason he is now backpedaling. Money is too powerful an incentive to ignore. So it’s that, plus the fact he realized if he didn’t make some sort of apology he’d soon be the past(a) president of Barilla.

      Oct 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • boring

      At a dollar a box, I will totally sell out to Barilla – in fact, it’s the only Pasta I have/had in the house which I purchased before the shit went down, and it’s what I’m having for dinner tonight.

      But I’m totally going to hateat this multigrain angelhair, you guys.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc

      Well, when a public figure says something offensive due to anger or confusion; I am more apt to forgive and forget. But in this specific example and others like it, I could truly care less about their apologies, outreach efforts, etc. This was a coherent statement. The same as others who have made coherent statements that have been ignorant or offensive to the LGBT community. They knew what they were saying. What they didn’t know was how people would react. And then when talks of boycotts and public thrashings by other public figures occurs; all of a sudden, they have a change of heart? Nope, they saw that the incident in question could cost them money, cause a PR nightmare, etc. So they profess to have an overnight change of heart to save face. So no, in those instances, I do not forgive and forget.

      But I will say anyone should be able to express their opinion freely. Period. In fact, I almost look at it as blessing when something like this happens. It lets me know where I should or should not spend my money. I only wish other CEOs would be so forthcoming and truthful.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredhotman

      Another hypocrite makes his mark on the world.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gaym50ish

      It isn’t just gay people who boycott the homophobes — if we didn’t also have many, many straight supporters, there would not be the “intense public pressure” that forces change.

      In reality, the gay boycotts work much better than the anti-gay ones. The homophobes declared victory in the Chick-Fil-A wars because so many people lined up to buy their sandwiches, but their BrandIndex rating of consumer perception plummeted. The Coors boycott started by Harvey Milk hurt the company and boosted the sales of Budweiser. And even though the company has since fallen all over themselves to be gay-friendly, the boycott by a lot of gay bars continues because the Coors family and its foundation continue to contribute to anti-gay organizations.

      By contrast, the Baptist boycott of Disney has been a total flop, the “million moms” petition against JC Penney for hiring Ellen reached only about 40,000 signatures (compared to 3 million who watch Elled every day), and the “dump Starbucks” campaign also fizzled. Some gay-friendly companies that have been targeted — Ford, Kraft, Home Depot, T-Mobile — have simply told the homophobes to take a hike, and the boycott threats haven’t hurt them one bit.

      I tend to think that most of the time the initial comment is the celebrity’s real feeling about gays, and the apology is just damage control written by a publicist. If the comment had not hurt the business, there would not have been an apology at all.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 6:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @gaym50ish: I agree with your point, but this is exactly the reason why an apology should be accepted, whether sincerely given or not.

      I don’t see this ending well in refusing to accept an apology. Barilla could simply refuse to apologise and get away with it, saying “I hate gay people and I won’t apologise because this has nothing to do with my pasta and you can’t force me to say I like gays when I don’t.”

      Aside from the legitimacy itself of our claim for equal rights, any power the LGBT minority has is not due to our superior numbers, since we are only 5-10% of the population, it is as you rightly point out,thanks to our straight allies. Our allies will abandon us if we behave petulantly, and THEN see how long we survive.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 7:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb in SC

      This is total BS. Homophobes puts their hate out there to let everyone on their side know where they stand and then “apologize” so everyone else can accept them. Calling total BS and not buying Barilla products.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 7:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phigareaux

      Forgiveness is NOT accepting an offender’s apology. It is holding them accountable for their offense. Having done that, and hearing apology does NOT mean business as usual, but continued pressure on the person, corporation to ensure their apology has value and meaning. Barilla protects Family Values — that’s bullshit — 50% of hetero marriages end in divorce (statics available on line). If he is that concerned about family values fund research as to why 50% of their marriages fail. Don’t use your imagined idea of heterosexual family values onto to the GLBT community/population. No, we aren’t a few — we are millions around the world and add our supportive families the numbers swell. Deal with it and get a haircut!

      Oct 2, 2013 at 7:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      @Derek Williams: Personally I disagree strongly with your comments.

      Firsty, I haven’t even seen an apology. His response to the backlash was “I apologize if my words generated misunderstandings or controversy or if they hurt some people’s feelings”. That’s not an apology for what he said – its an “I’m sorry you’re mad about what I said”. He has completely and deliberately avoided addressing his original comments.

      Secondly – your comment “our allies will abandon us if we behave petulantly”. Why is it petulant to be offended by his comments that gay marriage basically isn’t real? Why is it petulant to take his comments “If gays like our pasta and our advertising, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta” to their logical conclusion – buy someone else’s. A boycott is simply a strong endorsement of his own recommendation. Give him what he wants.

      Barilla’s chairman can reap what he sowed. As far as I’m concerned, he can enjoy his traditional family with a few less of my dollars supporting that lifestyle.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      Once an apology has been made, if is not accepted then the dialogue ends. If the person who was called upon to apologise and did so, is then told, “no matter what you say in your apology, we hereafter hold a permanent grudge,” it begs the question as to why even ask for an apology in the first place?

      I worked for decades as a teacher in a high school. Often I would call upon a student to apologise for wrongdoing of some kind, for example after a fight with another student. It was easy to see who grudging the apology was, coming from somebody seething with resentment, but it was still symbolic, because it placed on record a verbal admission of error, and a commitment, whether halfhearted or not, to cease the offensive behaviour in future. All behaviour from the point on is then monitored in the light of the new position represented by the apology.

      Mr Barilla clearly believed firmly in the words he uttered at the time of the interview. The first he learned, to his obvious surprise, that there was any disagreement with his words was when the emails, Facebook postings, letters and phone calls of protest started pouring in. He then had to reassess his lifetime of homophobic coaching and decide whether to rebuild himself. I’m afraid rebuilding deeply held views doesn’t happen in 24 hours. In Mr Barilla’s case, it may be he never believes differently, but the important thing is, he didn’t stick to his lofty position but instead resiled from it. He has done so, knowing that while he might appease some on our side, he will permanently alienate the “family values” customers who up till then, he believed were his company’s ‘bread and butter’ income. He is a businessman, and no businessman, however altruistic, is going to commit wanton damage on his own business and relieve himself of revenue.

      This is of immense symbolic significance, because it represents a global seachange from the world I grew up in, at a time when his original words would have been universally applauded. Now his world is topsy turvy.

      In time, Mr Barilla may come to actually mean and genuinely what he said in his apology, but for now, the important thing is that he has committed himslelf to dialogue with us, and we have all the time in the world to see what changes in the public face of the Barilla company will be effectuated.

      Hasten slowly.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 11:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @redspyder: (my reply to your comment above)

      Oct 2, 2013 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      @Derek Williams:

      Did you read his apology? It was a non-apology apology.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams


      Do you mean this?

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kathukid

      Sorry, bitch.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EManhattan

      @Derek Williams – Yes, he is still just apologizing for “offending” people, not for denigrating and insulting them. He claims that he has never discriminated against anyone – but a few days ago he proudly promised to never air a Barilla ad with the family of a gay couple, and told us to switch to other brands if we don’t like his business practices. Are we supposed to forget that, and pretend that he’s an ally now?

      Does he say that he has directed his advertising agency to begin work on an ad with two gay parents? No. Does he say that he’s going to meet with his gay employees who are raising children, to ask them what their lives are like and what has to change in the world so that they are treated as equal to their non-gay friends? No. Does he say he’s going to add employment protections for LGBT people to his worldwide corporate practices? No. Who is he meeting with about “the evolution of the family”? Could be priests, could be his PR consultants, could be anyone, he doesn’t say. He never even says “gay” in this apology, like he can’t bring himself to talk about the real issues.

      AS of now, I will continue to buy other brands. If, in the future, he changes his behavior to support equal treatment in daily life for LGBT people, I will buy Barilla again.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EManhattan

      AND, by the way, here are Some Barilla brands which don’t have “Barilla” in the name again:

      Alixir — alcoholic beverages,
      Crisp’N Light — biscuits, cookies,
      Cucina Mediterranea — Frozen main dishes,
      Fantasie Del Sole — many food products,
      First Fast — coffee, other food products
      Italy’s #1 Pasta — pasta,
      Macine — baking powder, salt,
      Mulino Bianco — baked goods,
      Natura Al Dente — many food products,
      NutriPlus — pasta,
      Orizzonti — coffee, other food products
      Pan Di Stelle — biscuits, cookies,
      Pavesi — Coffee,
      Pavesini — baked goods,
      Plus — sauces,
      Restaurant Creations — pasta sauces,
      Ringo — baking powder, biscuits, cookies,
      Ritornelli — biscuits, cookies,
      Share The Table — baking pans,
      The Choice of Italy — pasta,
      Voiello — coffee, other food products
      Volare — semolina-based snack foods

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @EManhattan: If you’re referring to the video I posted above, you’re wrong. He does mention the word “gay” and elaborates “gays and their families, without any distinction”. Moreover he has committed to meeting LGBT representatives, and to remodel his definition of the family about which he admits he has “a lot to learn”.

      You’re expecting this man to change overnight into another man. He clearly cannot do that, but he CAN be held to his apology and to his promise to be educated.

      Until then, I accept his apology as sincere.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EManhattan

      @Derek Williams – yes, I watched it again, he does mention gays and their families as people he’s never discriminated against.

      How can he square his statement that he has never discriminated against gays and their families with his obvious discriminatory practices against gays and their families, though? How can such a mis-match be taken as an apology for his fundamental bad behavior? He still just seems to be upset that people were upset – and that’s a good first baby-step, but it doesn’t go very far towards repairing the damage he’s promoted for so long.

      I’m not expecting him to “change overnight into another man”, as you say – if he actually follows through, and educates himself, and changes his corporate behavior, that will be good.

      In the meantime, I’m not buying Barilla products. Neither you nor he can expect ME to change overnight, either.

      I am completely out of patience with straight people who trot out ancient lies to justify treating me and mine badly. And that’s amplified when they are powerful political or business people who are using their positions to damage us. He has been acting badly for decades, apparently – don’t ask me to “get over” my disgust with him after a few days, just because he is sorry that I heard what he said and found it disgusting.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh

      @Derek Williams: Well, here’s the thing: I’m not asking Barilla to apologize. I frankly see no point in an apology that is merely symbolic and not sincere. Moreover, Barilla is entitled to his opinion, and I’m entitled to mine – and to make my own choices of where to spend my money. Apology or not, I’m not obligated to by anything from his companies simply because he apologized.

      You can call it holding a grudge if you like, but in my mind it’s just a matter of making smarter choices of where to spend my money. Do I give it to a company that has already shown itself to be supportive of my interests, or to one that damages those interests and then gives a merely symbolic, non-apology? Seems like a pretty simple and clear choice to me.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @Elloreigh: I’m sorry you don’t believe in people’s capacity to change. My experience (of 61 years) has obviously been very different to yours.

      We will have to agree to disagree.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EManhattan

      @Derek Williams – two questions in my last post were not rhetorical, they were real questions – can you answer them, please?

      How can Barilla square his statement that he has never discriminated against gays and their families with his obvious discriminatory practices against gays and their families?

      And how can you hear that mis-match and accept it as an apology for his bad behavior?

      Oct 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      1. In the original interview, Barilla said he would not include same sex couples in the company’s advertising. I’m not aware that he said anything along the lines of what you’re inferring, e.g. that no LGBT would be allowed to work for his company.
      2. An apology is recognition that previous behaviour was wrong, and implicitly a pledge not to continue with the previous behaviour. Barilla is a public figure, and knows he will continue to be held accountable.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EManhattan

      @Derek Williams –

      Are any of my facts wrong here? Seriously, if he made a real apology for the substance of his discriminatory behavior, and I missed it, I’d like to know. Given the standard English meaning of the words he said, I don’t hear a real apology in that video.

      1) I didn’t say that no LGBT person is allowed to work for Barilla, sorry. That’s a straw-man argument. We all know that there are LGBT Barilla employees. But when Barilla excludes same-sex couples from his advertising because he disapproves of gay marriage, and asserts that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt children, that IS discrimination. And the Barilla Group’s equal employment opportunity policy doesn’t include LGBT people, so their managers are free to fire, demote or fail to promote people for being gay wherever that is legal. By ensuring that lack of protection, Guido Barilla effectively condones any anti-gay discrimination he or his subordinates choose to practice.

      2) In his video, he did NOT recognize that his previous behavior was wrong – he said that he had never discriminated against gay people and their families. So, apparently, he thinks that excluding them from his ads, from his target market and from his equal employment policy is not discriminatory. How is that an apology? All of his other verbiage is just fluff if he has so thoroughly misunderstood what he has done.

      Remember that in the interview which sparked all of this he proudly claimed that he would never stop excluding gay people and their families from his ads and from his intended customer base – he said, among other things, that Barilla Group marketed their products only to “traditional”, meaning (to him) gay-free, families, and that anyone who disagreed with this could buy other brands. I have not yet heard anything from him that indicates that he has changed these positions except the one about selling pasta to just traditional families – he apparently also wants gay people to eat it.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • spanprof

      @fagburn: hystrics? a female insult???

      Oct 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • spanprof

      Whether we forgive and forget is a personal choice. For some people, avoiding the associated negative emotions is reason enough. But, for this idiot Barilla to attack a potential customer base is just plain stupid. The arrogance with which he disdainfully dismissed us is enough reason to think that in a free market, Barilla products should not be one’s first choice. Apparently, DeCecco s the brand that Italians buy anyway, so when in Rome……

      Oct 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      1. There was no “straw man”. I didn’t say you said that Barilla said “no LGBT person is allowed to work for Barilla”, I only said “e.g.” To claim I said that, is itself straw man. Discrimination in practice means excluding a targeted group on the grounds of a shared immutable characteristic, such as race, gender or sexual orientation. There is no evidence that Barilla excludes LGBT from any part of his empire other than in his advertisements’ demographic, and that is only with reference to gay marriage and gay adoption. Not including a certain class in your advertisements doesn’t ipso facto amount to discrimination unless the exclusion harms the class in some way, such as by ridicule, denial of access to goods and services and so on. For example, does Barilla include Asians in his advertisements? If not, why not? African Americans? Eskimos? Is that because the advertisement is targeting non-Asians, or is it proactively promoting the Italian user base, either as source or as target? Should all advertisements for every product always include every racial subclass and sexual minority on the planet? Clearly not.
      2. Legal and societal recognition of same sex marriage and adoption of children by same sex couples is comparatively new and highly controversial – even to LGBT ourselves, obviously none more so than to Barilla himself. It doesn’t follow that because Barilla didn’t wish to promote gay marriage and gay adoption in his advertisements, at the time of interview at least, that there is fundamental discrimination against LGBT as a class anywhere else in his empire. Come to that, how often in advertisements for other products do you see that every race, every variation of gender, left handed people and gays have been included? I would say in UK television there is a preponderance of males in advertising, so should we now single out one company and boycott them for not including females?

      What brought Barilla to everyone’s attention was his ham fisted way of saying he was targeting “traditional” families, i.e. nuclear family consisting of man and wife, a couple of kids and a dog. That is not the same as “gay free”, another straw man of yours. I myself come from a traditional family, not because they’re all heterosexuals except for me, but because the model fits the Barilla target market. My family accepts me as equal in every way to other family members, not ‘despite’ being “traditional”, but I daresay because of it. A traditional family should value every member, whether homosexual or heterosexual. My family is almost gay free, but not quite, thanks to having me as a member, but no-one within my family or outwith, yearns for it to be gay free. There are many gay and lesbian people who don’t believe in same sex marriage either, or in marriage at all, as in the case of many lesbians I know, because they regard it as a artefact of man’s hegemony over woman.

      If Barilla had reason to believe that his company’s bottom line was at risk of being damaged by “promoting” same sex marriages and adoption by same sex couples, why should he become activist for the LGBT cause and harm his business in the process? As it has turned out, to his evident astonishment, it is his comments against same sex marriage and same sex adoption that has earned public ire. But he doesn’t yet know whether all this anger is coming just from his customers. What if it turns out that practically none of the anti-Barilla rancour is coming from Barilla customers, but instead from others, who don’t even eat his pasta brand? One thing is for certain, if he now makes his next advertising campaign include same sex couples with children, he will beyond question alienate his “traditional” customer base – and if it turns out the majority of them actually agreed with his pre-apology stance, then his business will be damaged anyway.

      The Barilla apology in the above video was carefully scripted to ensure he didn’t destroy his successful business. I didn’t like his original statement about gay families any more than you did, but I don’t think it’s as simple for him as you make it out to be, and I don’t think it connotes personal hatred of LGBT or a company policy against LGBT.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EManhattan

      @Derek Williams –

      It’s obvious that you and I have different levels of tolerance for anti-gay stances by powerful people and corporations. And that we have different understandings of what discrimination is, and what an apology is.

      I will continue to avoid Barilla foods unless Barilla becomes gay-supportive, and you will do as you please, of course. Good luck with the rest of your life.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @EManhattan: I too would prefer Barilla to support same sex marriage and adoption by same sex couples, but I don’t expect them to become activists for the LGBT cause to the extent that their business would be damaged in the process. There’s only so much we can expect of our heterosexual allies who are already putting themselves in harm’s way for us enough as it is already. I don’t expect every business in the company register to be an LGBT ally and fly the rainbow flag, but it is always appreciated when they do.

      Oct 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·


      I think we undermine our power and passion when the stray comments of a CEO about his advertising campaign choices induce us to this. Show me a pattern of behavior insidious and deep enough that it leads acts of discrimination, the fired employees, the turned away customers etc at and I will act in concert with others and urge straight allies to do the same. Its hard to stay outraged enough to alter my buying behavior, when I wasn’t that outraged in the first place. We”ll end up announcing more boycotts than we can keep up with!

      Oct 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam


      Said…. “I think we undermine our power and passion when the stray comments of a CEO about his advertising campaign choices induce us to this.”


      Ahhh yes, the trolls defending the bigots acting as if gays are hysterical and overeating. This isn’t some random person on the streets. This is a person who actively makes the decisions that guide the company stating DIRECTLY that gay families aren’t real, that he would never use them in advertising etc…

      Isn’t it funny that you demand that he have his right to his opinion and yet we are supposed to NOT have our own opinions that we should stop supporting his company in favor of other companies that actively support us.

      Yeah, nice try.

      Oct 3, 2013 at 7:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      @Derek Williams: Thanks so much for that explanation of how apologies work in high school. I’m glad you were able to explain how you use them to help children develop into productive adults.

      Out in the grown up world of business, however, an apology stating “I’m sorry you got mad at what I said” instead of “I’m sorry for what I said” doesn’t cut it. Perhaps you think that we should have to make excuses for him not learning his lessons 40 years ago when he was 15, not today when he is 55. Perhaps his teachers were ineffective because they only taught him that making a piss poor attempt is sufficient when trying to manage a global brand. Given that he has now released FOUR apologies, managing to offend even more people with comments about the traditional role of women, clearly whatever he knows about how to apologise is insufficient. While it may make for a great teaching moment, it does not mean he gets a free pass. It just means he gets a Harvard Business Review article on bad brand management. And possibly a governmental review on the quality of high school teachers.

      I still remain mystified on why it is petulant to to take his comments “If gays like our pasta and our advertising, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta” to their logical conclusion – buy someone else’s. I still maintain that a boycott is simply a strong endorsement of his own recommendation. Maybe its my upbringing though… in my high school, I was taught that actions have consequences.

      Oct 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      By the way, I feel its probably worth pointing out that using the words “I apologise” does not constitute an actual apology. Example:
      Apology: Nelson Piquet Jr. (after calling his friend & fellow NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman a “fag”): “I sincerely apologize to everyone for my poor choice of words last week. I did not mean to hurt or offend anyone. This has been a cultural learning experience that will make me a more sensitive person moving forward.”
      Not an Apology: Guido Barilla: “I apologize if my words generated misunderstandings or controversy or if they hurt some people’s feelings”
      The first apologises for what he said and takes personal ownership. The second apologises for how others responded to what he said and passes blame – “you misunderstood me” vs. “I misspoke”.
      There’s a huge difference between the two – particularly in the business world. In the corporate boardroom, Piquet’s would read as genuine or a sincere attempt to resolve a problem; Barilla’s would indicate contempt or that he holds himself in a power position higher than you but is being forced to apologise. “I’m sorry you misunderstood me” is generally seen as condescending.

      Oct 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @redspyder: Gay marriage and gay adoption are still highly controversial, especially in Italy. It may be that the reaction against Barilla’s comments hasn’t come from his consumer base, and that featuring gay couples with children will actually alienate his consumer base. Time will tell whether his anti-gay comments won him support from his traditional customers, and whether kowtowing to the LGBT lobby will obliterate that support, then win enough new gay customers to compensate, apart from your goodself of course.

      While I was appalled by Barilla’s comments, I also don’t expect him to be a rainbow flag waving LGBT activist and go out of business in the process. I accept his apology, forced or otherwise, and I actually hope that he will profit from doing so. Reward for the right actions is so much more powerful than punishment for the wrong ones.

      Oct 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      @Derek Williams: You ignore my point. He hasn’t apologised for anything.
      I’m also not asking nor expecting him to kowtow to anything. He pointed out that if LGBTs don’t like it, buy somewhere else. I choose to take his advice. I don’t understand what your problem is with that.
      Personally, I have absolutely no other expectations from him. It’d be nice if he offered a real apology, but don’t expect me to accept a platitude just because it includes the word ‘apologise’.

      Oct 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @redspyder: By all means don’t eat his product. For all we know, if he starts beating the drum for LGBT and puts gay families all over his ads, he may lose his company anyway, by alienating his ‘traditional’ consumer base.

      I repeat, I didn’t like his original comments, and I am not defending them. He is meeting with LGBT groups to try and understand something he clearly didn’t before. Your contempt for him is cast in stone. I on the other hand believe that a journey to redemption starts with a single step.

      For what it’s worth, I believe he has made two steps, first the apology, and second meeting with LGBT representatives.

      He could so easily have stuck stubbornly to his original position and potentially saved his business (if his consumer base agreed with his original comments that is).

      Oct 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      You ignore my point. He pointed out that if LGBTs don’t like it, buy somewhere else. I choose to take his advice. I don’t understand what your problem is with that. It’d be nice if he offered a real apology.

      I figure I’d try cutting and pasting the same things I’ve said over and over again. It seems to work for you.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 12:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      You @redspyder: Indeed you have been saying the same things over and over. You insist on re-quoting his original comments and don’t acknowledge any concessions he has made, of which there have been five apologies including a video and a meeting with LGBT, but you cherish your resentment with a passion.

      I think he is far better off without you as a customer. You’re way too much baggage.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 12:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      @Derek Williams: I love it. You literally cut and paste all your comments over and over, and you’re somehow being thoughtful in the conversation.
      I cut and paste once, to make a point, and you devolve to insults.
      I love how you think “five apologies including a video and a meeting with LGBT” is somehow impressive or aspirational. For most companies its a PR disaster – luckily for Barilla, they have customers like you who think its that they’re so sorry they need to say it over and over again. ‘It proves how much they love us!’
      Enjoy life in your world. I’m done.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 1:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @redspyder: Your commentary has been dilatory, repetitive and insulting throughout. I resorted to ad hominem at the end out of sheer exasperation.

      This conversation is over.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 1:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      Ad hominem is also known as informal fallacy, or irrelevance. Apt description of most of your position. You are forgiven.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @redspyder: You keep insisting that I should not accept Barilla’s apology because YOU find it insincere. Well I DO accept his apology, and you can’t force me not to accept it, any more than I can force you to eat his pasta. I never said you should eat anything you don’t want to, and since we’re talking logical fallacy, how about you quit with the Straw Man?

      As for ad hominem, the attacks first came from you, suggesting for example that as a teacher, I would not know anything about running business and that any comment I make about business is therefore moot.

      Ad hominems are usually irrelevant, but they are not defined as ‘irrelevance’. Time for you to study “logical fallacy”. Google is your friend. Use it.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      You’re so good with cutting and pasting – show me once where I said you should not accept his apology. I said I choose not to. You’re the one who has argued the reverse:
      Derek Williams: No. 18 “… the smart thing to do is to graciously accept the apology and then observe future behaviour. Churlish “throwing down the handbag” by refusing to accept and apology, and distance traveled, only makes us look querulous, and in the long run it will not end well, for US”.
      You are the one who said anyone who doesn’t accept it is petulant or churlish.
      By the way – you are the one who brought up your years of teaching high school, as if they offered some insight. You’re the one who started talking to me about “if I ever have run a business, what I should start looking for” and then starting telling me about brand management and explaining to me their customer base. I apologise that my professional experience contradicts your years of high school teaching.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      Google: An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.[2] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy,[3][4][5] more precisely an irrelevance.[6]

      Google is indeed my friend. And I point out again – YOU said YOU resorted to ad hominem. Quit acting like I insulted you.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @redspyder: ‘Irrelevance’ and ‘Ad hominem’ are not synonyms no matter how many times you claim they are. You might want also to learn about false syllogism. Dial up Google again. Your posts are ridden with other logical fallacies, such as where you put words into my mouth. I resorted to ad hominem only after enduring post after post of yours, my experience as teacher being a case in point. Teachers are not ignorant ipso facto about business and by the way you know nothing whatsoever about my professional career, which is easy to find using your friend Google.

      Since you like to be literal, let’s drop the “cutting” and pasting allegation. My original posts are still there, which would be impossible if they had been “cut”. They weren’t even copied, even in a metaphorical sense, except in response to your repetitious postings about apologies.

      I will eat Barilla pasta, and I do forgive Barilla. That’s not because I am a coward, but because on balance, I feel it is appropriate to do so, no matter how much you browbeat me to rise in high dudgeon against him.

      This nitpicking behaviour of yours is clearly entertaining for you, but it’s tiresome for me and I am sure others in this wearisome thread. You have failed to persuade me, and I have failed to persuade you. If you keep on posting after this it will be responded to with the same answer.

      Don’t eat Barilla pasta if you don’t want to.
      Don’t forgive Barilla if you don’t want to.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      That definition is right off the net. Go complain to Google.
      If as a High School Teachers, you have had the experience of running a billion dollar company, please feel free to enlighten us. Until you do, I maintain my understanding of brand management and understanding a client base is backed by years of experience in both of those, not to mention practical experience in what works and what doesn’t. Yours isn’t.
      I have no desire to google you. If you have relevant experience, I would assume that you would have raised it to prove your point.
      ‘Cutting and pasting’ is synonymous with copying the same sentences over and over. Its a marketing shorthand used in the real world. It doesn’t equal actual cutting. If it makes you feel better – You “copy” and paste the same arguments.
      You haven’t shown me where I said you should not accept his apology. I have shown you where you said everyone should or they are ‘churlish’.
      Any further responses which fail to identify that adequately demonstrate the validity of anything you have said.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams


      Don’t eat Barilla pasta if you don’t want to.
      Don’t forgive Barilla if you don’t want to.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      @Derek Williams:You’ve proved my point.
      In high school you can tell your students whatever you want without backing it up – and they have no recourse. In the real world, things are a bit different. If you won’t back up your claims, all you’ve proven is that you are full of it.
      You should stick to an audience that isn’t allowed to challenge you.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams


      Maybe you’ll get it this time:

      Don’t eat Barilla pasta if you don’t want to.
      Don’t forgive Barilla if you don’t want to.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder

      @Derek Williams: See – that works with your high school students as well. You have spoken. Therefore it must be. Sorry that you don’t command such “respect” in the real world. Just because you said it doesn’t make it true.
      Still waiting for you to show me where I said what you claim I said. You can’t, so you avoid, avoid, avoid.
      Thanks, btw, for your continued passive aggressiveness in letting me know what I’m allowed to do. As if I need your permission.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams


      Don’t eat Barilla pasta if you don’t want to.
      Don’t forgive Barilla if you don’t want to.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder


      Oct 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams


      Don’t eat Barilla pasta if you don’t want to.
      Don’t forgive Barilla if you don’t want to.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redspyder


      Oct 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams


      Don’t eat Barilla pasta if you don’t want to.
      Don’t forgive Barilla if you don’t want to.

      Oct 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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