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.