Calls for boycotts greeted the chairman of Barilla, the world’s largest pasta company, after he offended the gay community by saying his company would never use a “homosexual family” in advertising campaigns.
Despite an apology that New York Magazine characterized as arriving at “a near supersonic response time”
after chairman Guido Barilla made his remarks on an Italian radio show, rights advocates aren’t backing down.
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“I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them,” Barilla said in a Radio 24 interview that launched the furor. “Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role.”
He tacked on the comment that if gays "like our pasta and our advertising, they'll eat our pasta, if they don't like it then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand," Reuters reported
NY Mag’s Grub Street didn’t find the apology Barilla promptly put out to be an adequate one. “The company may manufacture bow-tie-shaped pasta, but that doesn't necessarily make it classy, apparently, and today's statement doesn't exactly clear things up,” the article said.
In his apology, which NY Mag translated from Italian, Barilla said, “I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, and if they have offended the sensibilities of some people.
"For clarity, I wish to point out 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. … Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone.”
Rights groups and individuals around the world took to social media to denounce Barilla’s comments.
And one tweet used humor to get the point across:
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