By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Ever since Barilla chairman Guido Barilla voiced the company’s offensive anti-gay policy and told those who disagreed to eat someone else’s pasta, there has been quite an uproar from gay activist groups. Many have called for a boycott of the pasta brand and its affiliates.
The offensive remarks Barilla made on a national Italian radio show have not only caused a massive reaction from the gay community, but Barilla’s competitors have joined the conversation promoting messages of equality.
Pasta brands Buitoni, Bertoni, and Garafalo have come up with clever ads that show support for any kind of family whether it is gay, straight, or something in between.
The gay networking app MISTER also sponsored a video made by gay singer-songwriter Mister Chase about pasta-gate. It features a chef wearing only an apron serving up pasta smothered in sauce to a handsome gay couple who do the ol’ Lady and The Tramp noodle trick that results in them kissing. The video ends with a list of pasta companies that support equality: Bertolli, Buitoni, Garafalo, Ronzoni, EE Homemade, and Paul Newman (sauces).
If you feel like doing more than just switching your brand, you can do like Sweden’s Mattias Pettersson did when he returned his Barilla pasta to the Swedish branch of the company with a letter saying (translated from Swedish):
I have always wondered why your pasta had a tart and bitter aftertaste. Finally, I was informed that is was me who was wrong about that and not the pasta. Therefore, I am kindly but firmly returning the farfalle from your selection. I hope that you will see to that this pasta will end up with a straight, white, and idyllic family. You can always try Russia.
P.S. You could have warned me at the store already.”
We think this is a great idea, but there is a way that we can turn their hate into a good thing. Donate your unused Barilla pasta to a local Atlanta shelter or food bank. Then write a letter like Mattias did and send it to Barilla America:
Barilla America, Inc.
1200 Lakeside Drive
Bannockburn, IL 60015
Barilla is bending over backward to repair the damage caused by their careless chairman. They had Guido Barilla even issue a personal apology on their Facebook page. But at this point all the apologizing comes a little too late. It’s obvious the company’s management has been operating with these views for years. And sadly they didn’t take steps to stop it until it started affecting the company’s bottom line. So, either way this is more about the business than any actual new-found acceptance for the LGBT community.
What do you think: Is it time to forgive and forget?