Barilla Pasta tells gays: ‘Eat another brand’

Barilla — one of the best known pasta brands around the world — is one
of Italy’s biggest advertisers, and for many years has used the image of
a happy family living in an idealised version of the Italian
countryside, with the slogan: “Where there’s Barilla, there’s home.”
“I 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,” Barilla, 55, said in
an interview with Radio 24 on Wednesday.

In the interview, Barilla said he opposed adoption by gay parents,
but was in favor of allowing gay marriage, which is not legal in Italy.
His comment about advertising was in response to a direct question about
whether he would ever feature a gay family in his company’s
commercials.

If gays “like our pasta and our advertising, they’ll
eat our pasta, if they don’t like it then they will not eat it and they
will eat another brand,” he said.

Aurelio Mancuso, head of gay
rights group Equality Italia, said Barilla’s comments were an “offensive
provocation” and called for a boycott of the company’s pasta, sauces
and snacks.

“We accept the invitation from the Barilla owner to
not eat his pasta,” Mancuso said. Many Italians used social media to
voice support for a boycott.