Barilla Responds To Comments About Gays Made By Its Chairman

Sep 27, 2013

Comments about gays on Wednesday from one of the fourth-generation brothers running Italy's Barilla pasta company are prompting some to boycott the company's products. Barilla has a plant in Avon.

55-year old Guido Barilla told an Italian radio audience “He (I) would never do an advertisement with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand." He also attacked the rights of gay couples to adopt. Italian activists reacted with a call for a boycott of 20 brands owned by the company.

"If it wasn't so sad it would be laughable. It is really a shame that in this day and age, individuals will still say things like this," said Scott Fearing, the executive director of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Scott Fearing. He says they've received calls asking what can be done, especially with the company's plant in Avon.           

"Ultimately, for me as a consumer, the next time I'm standing at the grocery store, facing that big wall of different colored boxes of pasta, I'm going to remember which company doesn't want to include my family in their tradition, and in their advertising, and in their vision, and I'll make sure that I pick up a different color box."

Barilla issued a statement on its Facebook page:

"At Barilla, we consider it our mission to treat our consumers and partners as our neighbors – with love and respect – and to deliver the very best products possible. We take this responsibility seriously and consider it a core part of who we are as a family-owned company. While we can’t undo recent remarks, we can apologize. To all of our friends, family, employees, and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry."