Pasta Chairman Guido Barilla Apologizes for Anti-Gay Remarks Amid International Outrage

Barillo Chairman Guido Barilla apologized on Facebook this morning after remarks he made on a radio program inspired calls from all around the world for a boycott of the pasta maker.

BarillaSaid Barilla on Facebook (loosely translated):

With reference to my statements yesterday to the press, I apologize if my words have offended some people.

For clarity I would like to point out that I have the deepest respect for all people, without distinction of any kind.

I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and freedom of expression. I also said, and repeat, that I have respect for marriages between people of the same sex.

Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and love for everyone.

Said Barilla on the Italian radio show La Zanzara last night:

“I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand…For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company….Everyone has the right to do what they want without
disturbing those around them…"

He then added: "I have no respect for adoption by gay
families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose."


  1. Joseph says

    Nope, apology not accepted because you used the conditional “if” — there was nothing conditional about your statement so a conditional apology is not an apology.

    • says

      I have always loathed conditional “apologies” — “if” people have been offended? What, did he think that calling for a worldwide boycott of his products was a compliment? Nope, no Barilla, no Wasa, etc., for my family!

  2. MickyFlip says

    Swell. Now I have to stop buying Barilla pasta. I hate having to find another brand that’s just as good (if not better).

  3. LiamB says

    In other words, “I see that my offensive comments have stirred an international backlash, so now I am saying I meant the complete opposite of what I actually said.”

    Having watched their company trend worldwide on Twitter for several hours, and not from supportive comments, I knew it was only a matter of time before the walk back started.

  4. Carmen says

    Mickyflip, De Cecco is better, but ober here it costs a little more. I used to buy Barilla because of that, not anymore.

  5. HadenoughBS says

    Nope, not buying it – not Barilla’s half-hearted apology (“if my words have offended” indeed) nor the Barilla family of brands. It’s time these homophobic corporate bigots – no matter where they live and where they make and/or sell their products or services – feel the financial impact of denying equal rights to me and mine.

  6. Voet says

    You would think that CEOs would have gotten the memo by now; it is not OK to express your homophobic views in public. I will take him up on his suggestion, “if the gays don’t like it, they can go an eat another brand.” And I will do just that.

  7. woody says

    left-handed apology.
    he apologized if people were offended. he didn’t say he was wrong to say what he did.
    huge difference.
    i’ll buy their macaroni again when he does run an advert with a gay couple as that is what he said he’d never do.

  8. Jesse says

    The differences between Barilla and others is so slight. I used to choose Barilla. Now I won’t. Makes the grocery aisle decision making so much easier. I wonder if he’d do an ad with black people in it?

  9. northalabama says

    what respect? what apology? a real apology is not just to anyone “offended”, but an admission that the statement was wrong, why, and how an opinion has changed.

    i think i’ll stick with your first suggestion and buy another brand from now on. and, if i owned stock in this company, then read about this complete lack of responsible leadership, i’d be selling it immediately.

  10. Sean says

    Shove your non-pology, Mussolini wannabe. General Mills has a pasta brand. Also, if you feel like doing a little work and make your own fresh pasta, Crate and Barrel has a pasta maker. I bought one for my cousin last x-mas and he uses it all the time so I may buy it for myself.

  11. woody says

    this is all over italian tv. really blew up in his face.
    here’s the piece on RAI Italia where they interview the president of equality italy:

  12. Mitch says

    When I first read “Pezzo di merda”, I thought it was a suggestion for a brand of pasta not available locally…then my brain kicked in…and I had a nice morning laugh!

  13. LincolnLounger says

    Dreamfield pasta is low carb and delicious. I occasionally buy Barilla when there are coupons, however, so I am glad to know this.

    Why do people believe these non-apologies work? They just serve to piss people off even more.

  14. says

    Once again, we get to watch bigotry back-pedal with an overused unapology. “I’m sorry if you’re offended” is not an apology. This is going to cost him. Guido, I’m sorry that you think this greed-motivated last ditch effort to save your profit margin is going to work. Good luck.

  15. Jeff says

    Hmmm wont be eating Barilla. This does not appear to be a sincere apology just a hope to not hurt business.

  16. Beth says

    Mr. Barilla – gay people have families too. They have parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins. Gays are just as capable of raising a child that didn’t choose them as straight couples are. Your statements were ignorant, narrow minded, and insulting. I used to be a loyal Barilla brand shopper, but there is absolutely no chance I will ever buy your product again. Further, I will encourage everyone I know to boycott your company as well.

  17. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    @ Woody: thanks for posting that – but – waitta minute! The opening shot of that advert shows two hot guys pushing their beds together and then wrapping themselves around one another on them.

  18. John says

    I used to buy Barilla when it was on sale. Not anymore. From now on, I’ll splurge on De Cecco. It’s a bit more expensive for pasta, but it really is delicious, and even Cook’s Country (America’s Test Kitchen) rated it as the best pasta.

    This isn’t the first time I stopped buying Barilla. A while ago they had these ridiculous commercials playing at movie theaters. These commercials tried to be cinematic, but they were hilariously melodramatic for a box of effing pasta! They insulted my intelligence, so I stopped buying them, but the power of dirt cheap pasta made me forget the commercials and I went back to them.

    Not anymore. I wouldn’t eat their damn pasta even if they gave it away for free.

  19. Macguffin54 says

    I don’t understand why people are analyzing the text of his apology to judge whether it is sufficient. After hearing what he said in his interview how could any apology possibly erase the hatred that he spoke about? It’s not like he made an ambiguous statement or lashed out and said something in the heat of the moment. He very clearly does not tolerate gays in any way, shape or form or care that people know or are offended. What could he possibly say, no matter how eloquent or sincere-sounding, that would negate his words of abject hatred? We are so used to having to live with people and make our peace with laws that are hateful that we are too willing to try to find a way to make things seem okay in our minds, even when it is clear they are not okay. No matter what he says now or in the future, after what he has already said, he is DONE–let him and the Barilla brand go.

  20. jjose712 says

    The apology is not even good, he could try harder.
    It’s quite obvious he regrets what he said, but it’s equality obvious that he only regrets because he thinks (and he is probably right) that his pocket is the one that will suffer the consecuences of his big mouth

  21. Daniel Leyva says

    I don’t think Towleroad should publish the apology. The public should stay with the original comment and the boycott should stand.

  22. Leroy Laflamme says

    Everything MACGUFFIN54 said. There is simply no apology possible for his original words. The backlash needs to be speedy & it needs to be powerful. Spread the word.

  23. Leroy Laflamme says

    Everything MACGUFFIN54 said. There is simply no apology possible for his original words. The backlash needs to be speedy & it needs to be powerful. Spread the word.

  24. says

    My partner happened to tell me about the Barilla CEO’s initial comments when I returned home from the supermarket this morning,(with a box of Barilla pasta, no less). It was well worth using the gas to immediately return & exchange it for a different brand. Screw your half-assed Twitter non- apology .

  25. oncemorewithfeeling says

    He makes pasta. ANYONE can make pasta. There is no reason whatsoever to buy his, when almost anyone else’s will do.

    I promise your next dinner party guests will not spit out their spaghetti, demanding to know why you didn’t buy Barilla.

    Also: just don’t eat pasta! Eat healthier! Screw this jackass.

  26. Cecilfirefox says

    Not accepted.

    Not only is that not an apology, it’s a reversal. He’s contradicting what he said, and what he meant before, and he tied his company explicitly and deliberately to what he previously stated.

    Never buying that stuff again.

    And, really, I actually did buy barilla off and on. I’m a diehard pasta boy!

  27. Dan says

    Here is what I wrote to the public relations department of Barilla USA. Their email address is on their website:

    I have been a long time customer of Barilla products, particularly your pasta. But I am outraged by the callous and outrageous comments by your chairman, Guido Barilla. This is one gay household who will accept his challenge to buy my pasta elsewhere. Not one more penny will be spent on any of your products after his despicable display of bigotry and hatred.

  28. Michael Vilain says

    I’ve asked the local mega-supermarket Safeway to stop carrying it in their stores. Maybe other people in key markets (NY, LA, etc.) can contact a major chain and request the product be pulled from shelves and replaced with De Cecci.

  29. Clayton says

    “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.”

    I have a news flash for this guy: ALL adoptions concern a person who is not able to choose.

  30. David H says

    If he’s sorry, then he’ll put LGBT couples in his ads. If they don’t, then we’ll know exactly how sorry he is.

    Tell them your thoughts on their Facebook page!

  31. Jonster says

    Gay man at stove cooking spaghetti. Holds up box of DeCecco pasta. “Anything for my family, but Barilla.”

  32. brian p says

    Some of you deluded queens need a reality check. Why would a boycott wotk? We have failed to boycott Sochi. We have failed to boycott Chik Fil A. We’re failures.

    Our so-called alliies have failed to stand up for us. Face it – we are more interested in dancing and drinking than in boycotts.

  33. Olivia says

    You don’t have to be gay to be angered by this comment. A heart surgeon I know and her partner adopted two children, both of whom needed heart surgery – not as charity projects, but because they wanted to be parents. And that is one great “sacred family”. And yup, I’m changing my long hafabit of buying Barilla too. There are plenty of other products whose makers haven’t insulted good people.

  34. Seattle Mike says

    That “apology” should go in the Hall of Shame for weakest non-apologies ever. No more Barilla for me and my hubby.

  35. dixichuk says

    Don’t apologize, don’t lie. Just move to Russia, rebrand it Putin Pasta. Get all the Olympic venues. Or come to America. Join the Republican party. Palin pasta. Spaghetti Santorum..yum. Michele and Marcus Macaroni. Carbonara Chick-fil-a. Opportunity knocks.

  36. Chris in Irvine says

    What is wrong with all these people? They open their mouths and then they regret saying it (because of repercussions). One of the things that differentiate humans from animals is to be able to think before doing something…

  37. Deanna Costa says

    My partner of 17 years (and recently my wife…yep I am a big old lesbian) will nolonger be purchasing any more Barilla products of the other 20 products represented by this Italian company. You really put your foot in it and your lame apology will NOT suffice. You just lost 2 loyal customers and I know my family & friends will follow suit.

  38. Mike says

    DeLallo whole wheat pasta is delicious & has a better “tooth”,also inexpensive and widely available. Ditto for the Safeway Organic brand and Whole Foods whole wheat 365 brand. Homemade pasta can be a fun wknd project,too.

  39. Steve Johnson says

    An apology now will NOT take back what he said – I’m not buying their products ever again. People like this need to learn the hard way.

    Now, where do I find a complete list of products sponsored by his company???

  40. DN says

    The good news in all of this is that if you want to boycott Barilla, pasta is literally the easiest thing in the world to make from scratch :) It’s eggs, flour, and a pinch of salt.

    From there, there are a million directions you can go… I’m partial to making semolina, so I add water and olive oil to make the dough easier to work with. And if you knead the dough by hand, you get a decent arm workout. And my core gets a workout somehow, judging by the stiffness I felt the day after the first time I made it.

  41. Nunyabizness says

    Empty apologies for statements you truly mean are never accepted. You can’t show your true colors then expect an apology to save your behind when your business starts to suffer. You are free to say whatever you want, but when you start telling entire groups of people to buy other products, don’t be surprised when they do what you request. People like you need to try a new concept: thinking before you speak.

  42. GreatLakeSailor says

    I sent this to Barilla at

    I’ll take Guido Barilla’s advice:
    “if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand”
    And that’s the very last thing I’ll ever take from Barilla, in particular his non-apology apology.

    I’ll also encourage everyone I know with the basic decency of respect for innate human differences, to never patronize Barilla either.

  43. Ellen says

    This lesbian used to buy Barilla pasta on a regular basis. In fact, their microwave pastas were one of my daughter’s favorite school lunch options….that is, until now.

    No more buying Barilla….good think we LGBT folk have plenty of other good options. We’ll take our gay money and appetites elsewhere.

  44. Michel says

    Hi im working on a lot of high importance research project who adressed the LGBT community in Montreal city. some of them adressed the homoparental family and u know what? they really love their children and their children really love their both parents. This type of family give a great message, “Love”. Your not able to transmit this message and i’m working on a big boycott of your product. I’m closing my message like that: I’m gay, i have a boyfriend. My parents and my brother love me. I will adopt a child soon with my boyfriend. a child who was reject by his own family. I will educate my child and he will learn respect and love, and u will not in my example for his education.

  45. aminfidel says

    big man yesterday. and then what? daddy sat you down and told you what you were gonna say today to repair the damage? Coward! and you can’t even apologize right!

  46. Bernie says

    I am not buying his apology……it is way too little and too late……..he really meant what he really said and he needs to live with the consequences of his original statements…………..

  47. Randy Hudnutt says

    Sorry, but unacceptable. The truth slips out and then the back-pedaling begins. No more Barilla for me OR my gay and straight friends. There’s more than one pasta in town.

  48. Mamabear says

    Who cares what his opinion is or isn’t…and what does it have to do with buying his product, I mean seriously if you could read the minds and thoughts of everyone…you’d have nowhere to shop because everyone would have an opinion you didn’t agree with…I’m sure he had the same opinion for the many years you’ve been buying his products…you just didn’t know it! I’m a christian and know many people & companies that are Christian haters…oh well, I still buy their products! get over it already.

  49. frank says

    towle, once again you are editing his comments. he supports gay marriage, unlike 90% of our politicians and companies here at home, but he doesn’t want to market his products representing same sex couples. get it right! the translated paragraph you keep quoting is wrong. you should know better. you are doing a disservice to the gay community like this.

  50. tropicbill says

    Too little, too late. Barilla products are off the shopping list. I choose, as was originally suggested, to eat another brand.

  51. Kevin says

    Just went to the cupboard and threw away all my pasta and sauces. Guess it’s time to learn how to make my own.

  52. Jim says

    Guido: So I offended you faggots, did I? Why are you so sensitive? True, I hate you and spit on your families and say so in public, but is that anything to get sore about? And don’t give me a bunch of yack. You’ve had worse things in your mouths than my pasta, so shut up already. Don’t think for a minute I’m sorry because I’m not. Some PR flak wrote that apology for me. It’s as worthless as my whole grain spaghetti. Which you should try with our spicy marinara sauce, by the way. Ciao!

  53. Randy says

    Apology will not suffice. Other pasta makers never did anything to apologize for in the first place.

    You can become my pasta now only by promoting gay families, in your company, and in the rest of the world.

  54. Wyatt says

    America’s Test Kitchen tested the brands an DeCecco is better. Barillo is mushy. And so is his apology.Besides firm is ALWAYS better than mushy

  55. Jerry Smalling says

    Get stuffied, Guido Barilla. And you can keep your lame apology on the shelf with your neo-fascist views of the “sacred” family. No more Barilla products in my household. Ever.

  56. vince says

    too late. seriously… too late. Our family of two… and extended family of 27 people will not buy your product from now on. SERIOUSLY… you’re a pathetic man!!!

  57. Joseph Singer says

    Anytime you have an “apology” that starts with “If anyone is offended by…” it’s in fact a non-apology and is in effect disingenuous. What Guido did was try to spin. Any sane person should see that this is all an attempted smoke screen to hide his true intended meanings of the statements he made.

  58. Wayne says

    Sooo…. We’re supposed to boycott people whose beliefs some people don’t like, but support a president whose actions we see as evil?

  59. walter says

    i have the deepest respect for all people except gays and i am sorry for what i said especially since the pasta sales have fallen through the floor. please forgive me but my pasta even if i am a bigot. well guido stick your pasta

  60. Paloma says

    wtf is barilla? Never heard of it, now I know I’ll never try it. And as far as an adopted child goes…who the hell DOES choose their parents? idiot.

  61. Mike says

    Gays are great People / cooks who will choose pasta that meet their needs. But everyone is entitled to their opinion. If someone does not like the rainbow then that’s OK with me.

    Let it be; people are different; if we go around hating everyone that does not meet are standards then we all will be confused and miserable. Punishing people who do not think like us makes us like them.

  62. Chazwm says

    AHAHHAHHAH! Oooops too late; already shopped and bought De Cecco AND SanGeorgio,,,,love the big mouth feel of mafalda and the wavy texture…holds the sauce and diced veggies beautifully too! Movin’ on..Ciao Guido. You will miss me…..

  63. Nancy says

    He’s still a no good rotten SOB and can take his pasta and shove it up his ass. Sweet Dreams is delisous and better than his lousy pasta

  64. Dee says

    I am a married woman with a family and I will no longer buy Barilla. What is wrong with this world we live in. Why such discrimination?!! God loves all no matter our color or sexual preference. Shame on you. Your apolgy wasnt even that, all it was was an attempt to back track. You know what you said and you know exactly how you maeant it. Stand up and be accountable for your words. Dont let money influence an apology. You are a coward.

  65. Jim says

    Add me to the list. The”apology” is clearly only a pathetic reaction to the huge backlash your earlier comments raised. Rot in hell bigot.

  66. James says

    Go fungula yourself, biggot. I will never buy one of your products again. I hope your company goes bankrupt.

  67. John Syn says

    This message is now heard in Asia. My fellow mates and I will stop buying Barilla brand pasta from now on. Unless they mark on all their product packaging, “We are friends of homosexual families”.

  68. Everybodhi says

    I’m not gay, but, I’m not buying it either.
    What one eats is political, nowadays.
    I have been buying it, but, no more.

  69. Adrienne says

    No this “apology” does not work for me. If you apologize by sincerely discussing the ignorant, prejudice, hatefulness of your remarks–that arose from your closed heart and faulty thinking and then explain how your heart and mind have been opened and how ashamed you are what you said, and then make an advertisement honoring same sex marriage and parenting, I might then choose to not boycott your products.

  70. Joe in Ct says

    What an idiot. And his PR firm sucks too. Anyone know the PR agency that represents them in the U.S.? If they can’t do apologies better than that, their agency is toast too.

  71. andre says

    Well, this is clearly a family man with enough hatred than Adolph Hitler. If it wasn’t for the gay people who adopt st8 peoples children who sometimes ends up in a ditch or even rubbish bins, where would they end up? Think we have more morals because we teach our adopted children to respect all, no matter what. Luckily I never buy that brand. Proudly South African.

  72. Sarah Everett says

    Spare me another “apology” from some homophobic or racist or sexist or whatever.. There are other better pastas. No Barilla here.

  73. PFLAG mom says

    Since I adopted a gay teen, my family is probably not real to this guy either, so not buying his pasta.

  74. Mike says

    Apology is at least as dumb as the original statement. Too many pasta makers to worry about supporting this fool any longer.

    P.S. Oh, and the apology is not “left-handed” as Commenter “Woody” seems to think as shown above; that phase is a bit insulting, too!

  75. Eric Erickson says

    To think my gay brother was trying to get me to switch to your pasta, “cause its the best”!! I say shove your pasta up your ass Barilla, I will no longer buy!!

  76. bernard elias says

    Apology falls way too short tell Cuido Barilla gays are family and families too don’t buy Barilla products!

  77. John Eriksson says

    Well, I will never buy Barilla again, thats for sure.

    The companies I trade with, i demand be on the 21 century at least in their views and values. Not some fascist values shared by Guido Barilla, let him rot in hell with all other neo nazists.

    And I am NOT gay myself. But i demand that people have an IQ over 20 that i do business with.

  78. john silver says

    Just like in the days of sodoma and gomorra…… homosexuality at its peak again, destroying natural family values and promoting contra-natura anal sex again, man sucking each other penises, not cool dude, not cool.. how sick.

  79. kate says

    Barilla will never again be part of my household staples in the kitchen “Go to Hell” for being so insensitive and prejudice

  80. Mark a Former Customer says

    ignorant statement followed by half ass apology means Barilla is loosing my business and I am asking all friends and family to do the same, with vigor.

  81. odinsgranny says

    What is wrong with these CEO’s? Are they all just really, really dumb or what? How have they made so much money if they’re so incredibly stupid? Yet, again, another non-apology from another obviously not-in-the-real world troglodyte! I think he needs an intervention with his PR people! Doesn’t he even listen to the Pope? Yikes, I’m so, so over these guys. And, another corp bites the dust for me. Back to Ronzoni unless they’ve gone to the Koch Brothers School of absolutely pissing everybody in the world off for one reason or another like Canada (still beating baby harp seals to death ) or certain members of the Republican party (doing in the more than necessary Food Stamps Program)! Shame, shame on them all, including you Mr. Barilla!

  82. Don says

    Great, you have the utmost respect for my family. So long as you never have to look at us, talk to us, deal with us, and we have no children. Thanks for being so tolerant.

  83. naoma says

    He has already dug a hole and he is in it.
    No apologies accepted and I am not even gay.

    There are lots of other good sauces and pasta or MAKE YOUR OWN.

  84. jackd says

    Good for him. He never once said “we don’t like gays” You try to spin it that way, but he clearly and originally said “Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”
    What he really said was “we’re not going to do a gay ad” and as a company they’re free to make that decision. You’re free not to buy the product. But pissing and moaning like a child because some large company won’t bend to your will? No wonder he doesn’t respect you.

  85. says

    Not much pissing and moaning, @JackD, just an informed decision about what brand of pasta to buy in the supermarket. His lame apology was the pissing and moaning. And, while he didn’t directly say he doesn’t like gays, his statement about gay adoption was clear enough. And now we can all move on, us to other brands, Barillo to desperate damage control. Too late, other brands are happy to be pro-gay.

  86. Peggy says

    You would figure someone in business would be a bit smarter than to say some Idiotic thing like that. Guess he thought no one could possibly give up his brands. Well I say Lets hit him where it really counts—-His pocket book.

  87. DA says

    The whole world isn’t gay. His business will be fine. You might try
    “Angry Pasta” the pasta for disgruntled homos.

  88. Luke says

    im italian and read the original interview, it is shameful how distorted the translation sounds from the original .. even the “apology” which isn’t an apology at all because there isn’t anything to apologize

  89. the crystal methodist says

    damn! I might not eat Barilla pasta but I’d DEFINITELY eat Guido Barilla’s noodle!!!

  90. Chris says

    That’s ok! Let him say what he wants to say
    whatever! Barilla is not that great anyway
    if i may say, Freedom of Speech! There are
    many others to choose from…..

  91. SamIam says

    So basically hate only goes as far as the bank account. The underlying tone itself is so condescending. People keep saying that gay people only make up about 1% of the population but when things like this happen the backlash seems to really creep up to a number that is at least large enough to raise an eyebrow. Sad, I really liked Barilla… now a good excuse to really cut out the Wed. night carbs.

  92. says

    Backpedal when you’re being threatened monetarily. HEH! Typical bigoted CEO tactics that won’t fly in the eyes of the consumer… Shame. His duopoly will fall.

  93. says

    His apology is a joke…he now states gays are not a sacred family. Who is he to define a family. If two people love each then thank god because there is so much hatred in this world. Love should be embraced always. As for adoption…if the child is loved and taken care of it shouldnt matter who adopted…ultimately it is about giving a child a warm safe and loving environment. It is so sad he made such ifnorant comments and then rebutted with more ignorance. I feel sorry for him that his heart is so shallow and empty.