When will CEO’s learn to shut up? The latest to stick his foot in his mouth is Guido Barilla, Chairman of the ubiquitous Barilla Pasta. During an Italian radio interview, he was asked why there has never been a gay family in any of their shiny happy ads. His response has set off a firestorm:
“For us, the ‘sacral family’ remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. 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. You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals – who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families. The women are crucial in this.”
For the record, he’s just fine with gay couples … but adoption? Not so much.
“I respect same-sex marriage because that concerns people who want to contract marriage, but I absolutely don’t respect adoptions in gay families, because that concerns a person who is not the people who decide.”
Boycotts are already in motion, prompting an extremely weak non-apology-apology.
“Regarding my comments at the radio program La Zanzara, I [apologize] if my words generated misunderstandings or controversy or if they hurt some people’s feelings. In the interview I just wanted to underline the centrality of the woman’s role in the family. To be clear, I just want to specify that I do have great respect of every person, without any kind of distinction. I do respect gay people and everybody’s freedom of expression. I also said I do respect gay marriage. Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone.”
Okay, first of all, a real apology does NOT include the conditional “If.” “If I hurt some people’s feelings?” You know that your words caused offense, there is no “if” about it.
Barilla’s Facebook Page is already completely filled with comments, of which my favorite is “My favorite recipe this season? Bigotoni.” Well played.
So, can anyone recommend a good pasta brand? What’s the best way to make homemade pasta?