Another day, another company having to apologize for offensive remarks. This time, pasta purveyor Barilla is doing a lightening-quick turnaround after CEO Guido Barilla said Thursday that he "would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role.”
Adding insult to injury Barilla said, "If gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta; if they don't like that, they will eat someone else's pasta."
Well, turns out lots of people are happy to change pasta brands. Within hours, calls for boycotts on the number one pasta company has led to some backtracking. Barilla claims that he wasn't trying to offend, but instead call attention to the company's focus on the woman as the center of the family. (Translation: the center dinner-maker.)
With reference to my statement yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, and if they have offended the sensibilities of some people. For clarity, I wish to point out that I have the deepest respect for all persons, without distinction of any kind. I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and for the freedom of expression of everyone. I also said and I repeat that I respect 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 affection for everyone.
Guido's apology may just have managed to inflame gay rights supporters more. Guido's apology insinuates that he's only excluded same-sex couples because he's been trying to represent hospitable or affectionate family structures — thus implying that those wholesome families could only be heteronormative ones .
Looks like Barilla isn't out of hot water yet. Though if Chick-fil-A's similar controversy is any indication, the free publicity may actually prove profitable to them.