Barilla Pasta CEO’s anti-gay comments spark backlash and calls for a boycott

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There are calls to boycott the world’s largest pasta brand after the CEO Barilla Pasta said that he would not use a gay couple in any of his advertisements.

During an interview with an Italian radio statiom, Guido Barilla said, “I would never make a spot with a homosexual family.” Barilla went on to say that if gay people did not like his views, they could “eat another pasta.”

Barilla USA has since apologized for the CEO’s statements, saying on Facebook and Twitter, “At Barilla, we consider it our mission to treat our consumers and partners as our neighbors – with love and respect – and to deliver the very best products possible. We take this responsibility seriously and consider it a core part of who we are as a family-owned company. While we can’t undo recent remarks, we can apologize. To all of our friends, family, employees, and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.”

Gay rights activists in Italy and in the United States are calling for people to take Barilla up on his offer and eat another pasta. The hashtag #BoycottBarilla is making its way around social media, urging people and supermarket chains to boycott the brand.

Asked if he would buy Barilla pasta after the anti-gay remarks, one man near Eataly in New York said, “It’s a negative response for me. I buy pasta and sauce every week. I’ll think about it next time.”