U.S. Division of Barilla Apologizes for Chairman's Anti-Gay Remarks
Barilla US, the American division of the Italian Barilla pasta company, apologized via Facebook and Twitter late this afternoon for remarks by the company's chairman Guido Barilla, made on a radio program last night.
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.
On Wednesday night, company Chair Guido Barilla told the Italian radio show La Zanzara that the company would never make an ad with gay people and if they didn't like it they can find another brand of pasta:
“I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go and 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."
The remarks ignited a firestorm on social media and caused Guido Barilla to apologize this morning:
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.
Equality-minded people around the world are calling for a boycott of the company.