On Wednesday, Barilla Chairman Guido Barilla told an Italian radio station that he would not consider using a gay family to advertise Barilla pasta, saying “I would not do it… I don’t see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family.”
Guido was nonchalant about the affect his words might have on his company. “If they don’t like it and they don’t like what we say they will … eat another” brand of pasta, he said.
In response, an almost immediate boycott of the company was launched in Italy.
Guido apologized a few hours later, and the U.S. arm of the company offered an apology via Twitter.
“While we cannot undo words that have been said, we can apologize. To all of those that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.”
Barilla is the world’s largest pastamaker. It begun full production in Ames, Iowa in 1999 at its first U.S. facility, a 510,000-sq.-ft. plant, durum mill, and warehouse where it turns durum wheat into 22 different kinds of pasta.