World's Largest Pasta Maker Barilla: Gays Can Eat Someone Else's Pasta
As if it wasn't enough to butt their their heads into our chicken sandwiches, apparently the gay agenda is now extending all the way to nonna's kitchen, but one pasta maker isn't taking it lying down.
Guido Barilla, chairman of the world's largest pasta manufacture the Barilla Group is in hot water (that's what you cook pasta in) after he made comments that he'd prefer his pasta to stay out of the mouths of gay people.
Speaking on the Italian radio show La Zanara last night, Barilla said the following:
We will not be advertising with homosexuals, because we like the traditional family. If the gays do not agree, they can always eat pasta from another manufacturer. Everyone is free to do whatever they want provided it does not annoy others.
Christ my Google Translate is homophobic. Barilla attempted to backtrack later today, releasing a statement that clarified that he "only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family".
Which to be fair, Barilla's advertising has consistently reflected the views of its executives. The commercial below features the embodiment of one such traditional family, which everyone knows is comprised of two women and a sex-soaked Italian stranger who likes playing with your kids:
News of Barilla's comments quickly spread to the Twittersphere, leading many to call for the boycott of the product, and prompting Barilla to issue the following apology:
Which roughly translated to "I'm-uh sorry, for offending anyone-uh. I would like make uh love to-uh evry'buhdy, regardless of iffa you're uh man, or uh woman, or uh chair!"
I'm all for letting your spending dollars do the talking, but I am a bit confused what someone's views on homosexuality have to do with whether or not they make good pasta. If the idea is that a company's profits go directly towards funding a specific cause, that's one thing - and given that Barilla has specifically said they wouldn't depict a homosexual couple in their advertising, I understand that it's perpetuating heteronormativity - but here's the thing: almost all advertising has a policy of doing this, they're just remaining mum on the issue.
Are we supposed to boycott peanut butter companies if their owners support the death penalty? What about a condom company that doesn't support immigration reform? Where is the line drawn? Should companies be required to state the personal beliefs of their management, and should that dictate the value of their products?
If you read Barilla's comments in their entirety, it seems that more than anything he's coming from a place of well-intentioned, but increasingly out-of-touch ignorance about the ever-changing landscape of traditional family. I don't think he makes evil, or even homophobic pasta. We can lampoon the company (I don't think anyone's going to cry if a presumed billionaire loses a few bucks), but there are other employees in the company beyond Guido Barilla to consider when things like a boycott are mounted against it.
And one thing's clear: regardless of their personal stance, those who don't support marriage equality and equal rights for same-sex individuals are losing that battle.
I think all of the hullabaloo at the very least is going to expose Barilla to cultural considerations outside of his own, and it certainly behooves everyone to do that.
In an effort to meet Barilla halfway, I've been familiarizing myself with some of Italy's other cultural exports, including age-old dance forms: