Tuesday, November 5, 2013

World News: Pasta maker Barilla tries diversity after anti-gay scandal

Italian pasta maker Barilla has experts helping the company overhaul its image and promote diversity in ads after its CEO sparked outrage by saying he would never use gay couples in commercial, according to news outlets.

A company spokesperson said today that American gay rights activist David Mixner and Italian Paralympics cyclist and ex-Formula One driver Alex Zanardi are among the high-profile international figures that were called in to advise Barilla.

The company fought boycott calls after CEO Guido Barilla gave an interview in September saying that "the concept of a canonical family remains one of the fundamental values of the business." When asked if he would include a gay couple in one of his television commercials, he said, "We would not do it because ours is a traditional family."

He added: "If (gay people) like our pasta, they can eat it. If they do not like it, if they do not like what we say, they can eat a different one." After that statement sparked major backlash, the company took to social media to apologize. 

Barilla is the leading pasta company in Italy and a major exporter worldwide, with a turnover last year of $3.9 billion Euros ($5.3 billion), according to AFP news in Italy. A company spokes person said that  the company's ads have already changed. The company has also appointed a head diversity officer and will sign up to the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index, which rates companies on how open they are to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

The spokesperson said the initiatives had been in the works for over a year and were not in attempt to clean up the company's image after the backlash over the CEO's remarks. 

In light of this, would you continue to eat Barilla pasta?


  1. This my favorite pasta lol

  2. Yeah....I'ma have to keep eating the pasta. I just discovered their gluten-free pasta and it's dope.lol