Guido Barilla, chairman of Barilla pasta, recently announced to the public that he does not want gay couples involved in advertising or promotion of his products. His remarks stirred controversy and infuriated many individuals across the country. Following the remarks, a number of people have refused to buy Barilla products.
“I would never do a commercial with a homosexual couple, not because I don’t respect gays, but because we don’t agree with them,” said Mr. Barilla. “Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role…If gays don’t like it, they can go eat another brand.”
Apparently, he made these comments because he values the “traditional family” leading individuals to believe that he does not believe gay individuals are an accurate representation of a “traditional” family. This has left many questioning whether or not the chairman of one of the most famous pasta companies is homophobic. Given his casually controversial remarks, many are labeling him exclusively homophobic. His comments triggered an immediate public response, prompting a flood of Twitter hashtags ending in #boycottbarilla.
Furthermore, Barilla also said that he doesn’t support gay adoption. While he generally respects gay marriage, he said he “absolutely doesn’t respect adoption in gay families” He respects gay marriage because it “concerns people who want to contract marriage”, but he doesn’t respect gay adoption because it “concerns a person who is not the [person] who [decided] to marry.”
Despite the fact that Barilla apologized profusely for his comments following the public’s outrage, many have refused his apology and are still planning on boycotting Barilla products.
According to Rich Ferraro, Vice-President of Communiications for GLAAD, “Homophobia is bad for business-plain and simple.”