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Frozen Food Company Produces Italy's First Gay-Inclusive Advertisement: VIDEO


Frozen food company Findus has produced what is being touted as the first gay-inclusive advertisement in Italy. It is a no-frills ad in which a mother and her son enjoy a "home-cooked" meal prepared by the son's boyfriend (in an odd decision, none of their faces are shown); the son comes out, telling his mother about their relationship, and she reacts beautifully.

Time reports:

The ad comes nine months after the chairman of Italian pasta maker Barilla came under fire for saying that he would never use a gay family in his ads. The company eventually announced a “more inclusive” initiative to “establish a more active, global leadership on diversity,” including hiring a “chief diversity officer.”

Gay activists in Europe praised the video for showcasing the simplicity and the daily life of a gay couple. “It’s a positive step forward when different types of families are portrayed in ads, as they resonate with parts of society that are usually marginalized,” said Juris Lavrikovs, the communications manager of ILGA, Europe’s International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association.

Way to go, Findus! 

Check out the wonderful ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NYT Illustrated Tribute to Barilla Pasta Says Gays Have Accepted Chairman's Apology, 'Boycott Has Ended'


A tribute to the wonders of Barilla pasta which reads more like an ad than an illustrated piece of editorial in the 'Opinion Pages' of the New York Times claims that gay people are totally fine with Chairman Guido Barilla's apology for his remarks about gay people and that "the boycott has ended."

Mr. Barilla caused a firestorm of international outrage over his remarks on an Italian radio show, in which he said:

“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.”

He added: “Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”. But then the pasta magnate upped the ante by attacking gay adoption. “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose," he said.

Mr. Barilla apologized shortly thereafter and announced a diversity and inclusion initiative at the company.

It's unclear what that initiative has produced, though we don't believe it's the kind of forgiveness (or lesbian linguine) that this NYT article appears to suggest.

Check it out here.


Anti-Gay Pasta Maker Barilla Opens Restaurant in NYC, Plans a Chipotle-Style Chain

Italian pasta maker Barilla, who last September made international headlines when he told an Italian radio show  that the company would never make an ad with gay people and if they didn't like it they could find another brand of pasta, has opened a restaurant in midtown Manhattan, the Wall Street Journal reports:

BarillaCompany officials picture the restaurant as an Italian version of Chipotle, the popular Mexican fast-food chain. Mr. Albano said he has already begun the hunt for two smaller locations in heavy-traffic Herald Square and Bryant Park.

Soon after making the remarks last September, Barilla chairman Guido Barilla apologized, and in November the company announced a Diversity and Inclusion Board, and a Diversity Officer.

It's unclear what has come of that, although on its website there is a notice for a "Barilla Diversity Challenge" in which "entrants will be asked to create short videos about diversity that will be submitted to the web community to be liked, shared and voted."

Of course the company could also learn a lesson or two from Honey Maid.

Barilla Pasta Announces Major 'Diversity and Inclusion' Initiative in Response to Anti-Gay Controversy

Barilla, the international pasta maker who came under fire in September after its chairman Guido Barilla told a radio host that gay people could find another brand if they didn't like the fact that the company would never make an advertisement with gay people in it, today announced a new Diversity & Inclusion Board, a Global Diversity Officer, and participation in the HRC Corporate Equality Index.

BarillaThe new initiatives are a result of meetings with civil and human rights leaders in Italy and the United States, it says.

Said Chief Executive Officer Claudio Colzani in a press release:

“Diversity, inclusion and equality have long been grounded in Barilla’s culture, values and code of conduct. They are reflected in our policies and the benefits we provide to all employees, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. At the same time, we are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do.”

The steps include:

- A newly-established Diversity & Inclusion Board, comprising external experts and advocates who will help Barilla establish concrete goals and strategies for improving diversity and equality in the company’s workforce and culture with regard to sexual orientation, gender balance, disability rights and multicultural and intergenerational issues. Individuals who have accepted positions on the Board to date include, David Mixner, a prominent global leader in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and Alex Zanardi, a Paralympic gold medalist.

- Appointment of the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer, Talita Erickson, a Brazilian-born attorney who for the past year has served as General Counsel to Barilla America.

- Participation in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) created by the U.S.-based Human Rights Campaign to measure and rate large companies on their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) employees.

4_barillaSaid Mixner: “I am encouraged by Barilla’s commitment to seek outside guidance and advice on these crucial issues and pleased to be a part of it. I am also impressed with the willingness of the Chairman and company to listen and learn from LGBT community leaders and work towards improving diversity, inclusion and equality.”

The company adds:

Barilla will also launch a global online contest in 2014 designed to engage people on diversity, inclusion and equality. Entrants will be asked to create short videos that represent the multifaceted nature of pasta, which will be submitted to the web community to be liked, shared and voted. The videos will be then judged by an expert panel and the winners will receive awards.

Find the Right 'Gay' Noodle for You: VIDEO


Barilla's assertion that it did not want gays in its pasta ads has thankfully been a springboard for creative and equality-minded filmmakers to set the wheels turning and this 'gay' pasta ad comes from the folks at the dating app MISTER.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Incidentally, Towleroad has been nominated in their iamMISTER awards. Thanks guys!


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The Daily Show's Louis Black Unleashes on Barilla Pasta: VIDEO


The Daily Show's Louis Black has a special comment on the Barilla pasta boycott, and some words for Guido.


Continue reading "The Daily Show's Louis Black Unleashes on Barilla Pasta: VIDEO" »


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