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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.

4_barillaAt 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.

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  1. Too late.

    Posted by: Will | Sep 26, 2013 6:11:28 PM

  2. So then .. if the apology is real, we will soon see Barilla advertising featuring same-sex families given that this is the symbol of hospitality and love for everyone, correct?

    Posted by: Obvious | Sep 26, 2013 6:13:06 PM

  3. IOC just announces major new sponsor for Sochi Winter Olympics... Barilla Pasta!

    Posted by: topdawg | Sep 26, 2013 6:14:44 PM

  4. Bacillary, meet Coors and Donna Summer. They'd like a word with you.

    Posted by: The milkman | Sep 26, 2013 6:16:15 PM

  5. I don't like the company's opinions about myself and my family so I will take his advice and buy another brand. I'm tired of CEOs and celebrities showing their true colors only to turn around the next day and "apologize" when their PR firms tell them how badly their comments will affect the bottom line. They can shove their "apologies". Your first words were indeed what you truly feel.

    Posted by: Ian | Sep 26, 2013 6:21:08 PM

  6. Guido did not apologize. If it's conditional, it's not an apology. And what would he apologize for -- sorry I'm a bigot?

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Sep 26, 2013 6:23:56 PM

  7. Actions speak louder than words. Barilla should make a TV AD with a Gay Family and make their chairman eat his words.

    Posted by: Jay | Sep 26, 2013 6:23:57 PM

  8. It's too late. You can't unring that bell.

    Posted by: WildGift | Sep 26, 2013 6:24:59 PM

  9. Remove the Chairman.

    Donate to LGBT anti-bullying charities.

    Make a commercial showing exactly what happened and tell the world that bigotry is not a XXI century value that any company should endorse.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Sep 26, 2013 6:27:50 PM

  10. The new Gay Hobby. Who hates us today? Before gay marriage we could pretty much figure out who hated us. Now it's open season.
    The pasta maker?

    Posted by: Gee | Sep 26, 2013 6:32:11 PM

  11. The only reason he/the company is sorry is because it may impact their $$$. I'll never buy their pasta again.

    Posted by: Chicklets | Sep 26, 2013 6:33:39 PM

  12. Well, that's just too bad, US division of Barilla. That's just too bad. And don't waste your time making a gay-family commercial - it'll make no difference. My gay family will henceforth 'go & eat another brand'. And everything IAN a few posts back. Everything.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Sep 26, 2013 6:44:53 PM

  13. There are enough pasta choices in the supermarket for me not to miss Barilla.

    Posted by: Topol | Sep 26, 2013 6:52:34 PM

  14. I will only buy their products again when they start running ads using same-sex couples and their families!

    Some Barilla brands which don't have "Barilla" in the name:

    Alixir --- alcoholic beverages,
    Crisp'N Light --- biscuits, cookies,
    Cucina Mediterranea --- Frozen main dishes,
    Fantasie Del Sole --- many food products,
    First Fast --- coffee, other food products
    Italy's #1 Pasta --- pasta,
    Macine --- baking powder, salt,
    Mulino Bianco --- baked goods,
    Natura Al Dente --- many food products,
    NutriPlus --- pasta,
    Orizzonti --- coffee, other food products
    Pan Di Stelle --- biscuits, cookies,
    Pavesi --- Coffee,
    Pavesini --- baked goods,
    Plus --- sauces,
    Restaurant Creations --- pasta sauces,
    Ringo --- baking powder, biscuits, cookies,
    Ritornelli --- biscuits, cookies,
    Share The Table --- baking pans,
    The Choice of Italy --- pasta,
    Voiello --- coffee, other food products
    Volare --- semolina-based snack foods

    Posted by: E. Carpenter | Sep 26, 2013 6:55:18 PM

  15. Adios Guido Barilla to you and your sh1tty pasta!

    As if there were not reason enough already to buy fresh pasta, or better yet make it from scratch at home. It's easier then you think and far healthier for you too.

    There's always Ronzoni

    Posted by: dearcomrade | Sep 26, 2013 7:03:09 PM

  16. I don't expect to see gay couples featured in product ads any more than I expect to see Native Americans featured in product ads. But if a company really wanted to be inclusive, even 2-second intervals of an ad showing diverse people enjoying or using a product would go a long way toward promoting inclusiveness and perhaps an even longer way when it comes to that company's profits.

    Posted by: rroberts | Sep 26, 2013 7:03:54 PM

  17. They lost another customer...I wont be buying their pasta

    Posted by: Bosie | Sep 26, 2013 7:06:30 PM

  18. "I apologize if my words have offended some people."

    Such an apology is not an apology.

    Posted by: john patrick | Sep 26, 2013 7:11:52 PM

  19. I give it two days...tops...before Sarah Palin is photographed eating Fettuccine on the sidewalk outside of Barilla USA headquarters.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Sep 26, 2013 7:14:13 PM

  20. Too little too late.

    Posted by: Howard | Sep 26, 2013 7:19:30 PM

  21. Too little too late.

    Posted by: Howard | Sep 26, 2013 7:19:30 PM

  22. Guido, you are such a Guido....sorry, I could not help myself

    Posted by: Dan | Sep 26, 2013 7:20:56 PM

  23. I sent BARILLA US a nice little note via their website earlier today letting them know my "family" would no longer be buying their products given Guido's comments. I would encourage everyone to do the same.

    Posted by: e.c. | Sep 26, 2013 7:23:12 PM

  24. E. Carpenter - thanks for the list

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 26, 2013 7:38:57 PM

  25. He's NOT sorry and is standing by his comments, at least according to this story just appearing on Huffington Post:

    Posted by: Bob R | Sep 26, 2013 7:45:42 PM

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