Famed Italian pasta maker Barilla: Gays can eat someone else’s pasta

Dear Google: This page does not have “dangerous or derogatory content.” Nor does it have “unreliable and harmful claims.” It’s a story I wrote about a pasta company CEO who said some incredibly anti-gay things, and got called out for it by the top LGBT groups in America, and by LGBT people worldwide. My scoop created international news coverage, and finally elicited a major apology from Barilla, the pasta company in question, who admitted they were wrong. Please stop flagging this story as “dangerous” or “unreliable.” You can read about the entire story here from Bloomberg News.

Barilla is a famous name in Italian pasta.  And it seems they don’t have a taste for gays.

If you check your local supermarket here in the states, or in Europe, you’re bound to see Barilla’s products with the familiar red label.  They’re a big, worldwide brand.

Well, the Chairman of the privately-owned company, Guido Barilla, got himself into some hot water yesterday when he told an Italian radio show that Barilla is a company that “likes the traditional family.”  And therefore, you’re not going to see any gays in Barilla’s advertising.  And if gays don’t like it, “they can always go eat someone else’s pasta.”

Already are, stronzo.

UPDATE: Barilla has apologized three different times today – and each time, getting itself into more and more hot water.

[UPDATE 2: Barilla has issued its 4th apology, this time via a video from CEO Guido Barilla.]

UPDATE: I’ve got the audio. Honestly, he sounds like a bigger jerk in the audio than he does in the written quotes.  It’s all in Italian, obviously.

Here are some of Barilla’s comments (my translation – at the time of publication, the English-language press had yet to pick up this story):

“Non faremo pubblicità con omosessuali, perché a noi piace la famiglia tradizionale. Se i gay non sono d’accordo, possono sempre mangiare la pasta di un’altra marca. Tutti sono liberi di fare ciò che vogliono purché non infastidiscano gli altri”.

“We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family. If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn’t bother anyone else.”

Consider me bothered, Guido.

After his comments caused a bit of outrage, Barilla is now trying to backtrack – kinda (agin my translation):

“With reference to statements made yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they have hurt the sensibilities of some people. In the interview I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family.”

Right.  Because there’s nothing sexist about that.  The central role of women in the kitchen. (Like when she picks up a frying pan to slap your sexist ass.)

Barilla added that he has “the utmost respect for any person, without distinction of any kind,” and “the greatest respect for gays and for the freedom of expression of anyone.”

Yeah, freedom of expression.  Anti-gay bigots usually misunderstand the concept of freedom of expression to mean that they get to say any inanity with impunity.  Doesn’t work that way.  Barilla absolutely has the right to say that Barilla pasta is for straight people.  And we have the right to tell him to vaffanapoli.

UPDATE: Speaking of free expression, Italian gay rights advocates, including members of the Italian parliament, are now calling for a boycott of Barilla (#boicottabarilla #boycottbarilla).  Italian “family” advocates are, however, siding with Barilla over gay families, which they claim are not “natural.”  Those same family advocates claim that – get this – criticizing Barilla for its attack on gays is itself an attack on “civil liberties.”


Barilla added in his mea-kinda-sorta-culpa to the Italian press, “I repeat that I respect gay marriages.”

But not enough respect to include us in his ads, because Barilla is a company that likes “the traditional family.”

Oh, Barilla’s against gay adoption too.

How do you say “buh bye” in Italian?  Oh that’s right: Ciao, Barilla!

(Feel free to give Barilla a piece of your mind via their Web site or Twitter or Facebook.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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