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Sep 26, 2013 03:57 PM

Barilla Pasta anti-gay comments


"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."

I guess they will!

"I think we want to talk to traditional families. The women are crucial in this."

So he's not only anti-gay, but also sexist.

"I absolutely don’t respect adoptions in gay families, because that concerns a person who is not the people who decide."

"Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone."

Make that "symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone," except gay people with children. Apparently, they don't count as families.

  1. Do you want to put them out of business with a good product because of their personal beliefs?

    47 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      He said it himself: if you don't like it, don't eat it.

      Personal beliefs are one thing, corporate policy is another. If their corporate policy is that only legitimate family is one straight out of 1950, then maybe their business doesn't deserve to survive in the 21st century.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I dunno, but I think products that have been popular for over 60 years are doing something right. How they vote is not an ingredient and is none of my business. CH is about food, not politics.

          1. re: Veggo

            This board is about food in the media. Barilla makes food, and this story is in the media. As long as we discuss it civilly, it's on topic.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Respectfully, I find your logic to be a convenient stretch.

              1. re: Veggo

                Oh please, there are, and have been, many, many heads on CH discussing the intersection of food and politics. Have you objected to everyone of them? If you don't like the topic, ignore it.

              2. re: Veggo

                Many years ago Wendy's removed Ellen's commercials, I stopped eating Wendy's then. A few years ago Chik-Fil-A came out against gay rights, I stopped eating chick-fil-a (easy in Hawaii since we don't have any), and now Barilla has told me outright to go spend my money elsewhere. I'm glad to do so.

                If they go out of business, then that is their business. It is my business to not buy a product that has a company with a policy statement that affects me or people I support. Its almost before my time, but it seems to me there was something about a bus boycott some years back . . .

                1. re: Veggo

                  Sorry Veggo....
                  the food boards on Ch are about food, but media, not about food are open to comments on anything related to food and those in the business.

                  I for one vote with my pocketbook (not that I carry one, you've seen me pull my wallet out of my back pocket <VBG>. I wouldn't support a company such as Barilla who has political views far to the righ of mine, just as I woildn't spend a dime at Chik-Fil-A.

                  But, Barilla won't lose any of the business I give them, because I don't ever buy BOXED pasta--it tastes like cardboard. I only buy bagged made in Italy pasta.

                  And as for surviving more than 60 years? Lots of the brands of our youth are gone , swallowed up by the conglomerates. Growing up, you and I lived in an area where LaRosa, a NY regional brand was dominant, followed by Prince from Boston and Ronzoni--national. Today, the supermarket shelves are store label, Prince, Ronzoni, Barilla, and assorted 'local' Italian label imports. Even Creamettes from Borden's has disappeared. Occasionally there is a Mueller's siting.
                  But if we buiy 20+ lbs of pasta a month in our house not 1 cent is spent on Barilla...and now there is no chance that it will be in the future.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    I respect your position, bagelman.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      But I'm not sure I respect yours, Veggo, even tho you're entitled to it. Can I assume that you are also anti-gay since you seem to be defending Barilla? I doubt a boycott would put him out of business just like Chik-fil-A is still around as well as Carl's jr.
                      My younger son is gay. Family and friends that have a problem with it are no longer family or friends.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          antibodies are important-they keep us healthy

                  2. re: Veggo

                    Right. But shouldn't food be about food and not about politics? I cannot figure out why food manufacturers or dining establishments would ever choose to make a political statement like this. If they want us to appreciate their 60 years of good product, we will. But it is 2013, people DO make purchasing decisions based on many reasons. Barilla has chosen to make themselves a media issue, versus being nothing more than a company that produces boxed pasta that many people enjoy.

                    1. re: Justpaula

                      This is my "assumption" (yes I know what happens when we assume) this comment(s) by Barilla were made in response to a question posed to him on an Italian radio station.

                      My "assumption" is the gay rights issue(s) are not as hot topics or on the political radar in Italy as they are in the United States. So I think he made an off handed comment, which reflects his personal views, not really thinking of the global ears that were listening. I do not believe the LBGT movement has nearly the traction in Italy as it does here.

                      So I don't think Barilla chose to make a media issue of themselves. I don't think this was ever meant to be an "official" view of Barilla, has it become one, obviously yes.

                      AND AGAIN, I'm not supporting what he has said, just trying to provide some insight as to how something this stupid happened to begin with.

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        Then maybe this is what will get people in Italy talking about it.

                        1. re: youareabunny

                          One never knows! History shows stranger things have happened.

                          1. re: youareabunny

                            Not too likely so do not hold your breath waiting for that to happen. My SO is Italian and they are far more likely to talk about Berlusconi than Barilla. ;-)

                            1. re: Fowler

                              Oh, you mean that heterosexual guy?......:)

                          2. re: jrvedivici

                            That or perhaps, arrogance, ignorance and certainly poor business acumen. Isn't Business 101 that everyone's money is green?

                            1. re: JAB

                              Isn't Business 101 that everyone's money is green?
                              Except in Brazil! As the Simpsons discovered when Homer was kidnapped in Brazil...


                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Yeah, but . . . here's the full quote:
                        "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."

                        The only corporate policy he's discussing is not portraying homosexual couples in his advertising campaigns. Given the kerfluffle the Cheerios commercial with the interracial couple caused, I can't really blame him.

                        1. re: gaffk

                          But he's saying he doesn't want to talk to "them" and if he doesn't then I don't want to support his company. I haven't checked but am willing to bet that Cheerios scored big, positive points with that ad. I think the way things change is with individuals speaking with their dollars. I've spoken.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            I love that Cheerios ad--the little girl and the dad are just adorable. I hadn't even heard about the kerfuffle about it before I saw the ad a few times.

                            While I try not to be knee-jerk in my responses to anything corporate (having done so too many times in the past), I also speak with my purchasing, puny a statement as that may be.

                            1. re: pine time

                              MY one puny statement multiplied by thousands can make a difference. And staying silent certainly isn't going to change anything. Yay for us :)

                              1. re: pine time

                                I believe most of the outrage was on YouTube comments. Similarly, outrage to Miss America was primarily on twitter.

                                Of course these aren't issues that people will march on the street for. But it's amazing how much hate and ignorance people are willing to spew behind a screen.

                            2. re: gaffk

                              If you read all the things he said, the bottom line is that they don't consider gay families to be real families. How that is not insulting or disrespectful I don't know.

                              As for the Cheerios "kerfluffle" -- the commercial is now being shown regularly. The fact that a few bigots made some noise about it is trivial in comparison to the positive press they've gotten for it.

                              1. re: gaffk

                                He also says they have the "right to do what they want," which to me dismisses being gay as a "lifestyle," rather than as an innate circumstance of someone's life.

                                I do buy boxed pasta, De Cecco or other Italian stuff usually, and hardly ever Barilla anyway … but I did sign the online petition. I don't think this counts as actual punishment, just a rebuke. And I think a necessary one.

                              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                I have some Barilla pasta and some others. I don't consider this an issue that will affect my decision which pasta to buy one way or the other.

                              3. re: Veggo

                                This idiot has chosen to interject his personal beliefs into his business, so the consequences are his to bear. And frankly, their pasta is not that great to begin with.

                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  Yeah. Worth noting that they did poorly in the latest CI test; they're made in the US for the US market now, and are among those cutting their pasta with cheaper (non-semolina) durum flour.

                                  1. re: dtremit

                                    Barilla is based in Italy, and this statement was made on Italian radio. Their main market would be Italy, as far as I've heard. Just to bring a little perspective to the discussion. Maybe he doesn't mean US advertising at all, who knows?

                                    1. re: coll

                                      Maybe their main market is Italy, IDK. But, I've seen it in virtually grocery store's dried past section that i've ever been to.

                                      1. re: coll


                                        Several years ago Barilla had sales in the US of $500 million. They owned 28% of the US market. And he never said he didn't mean the US market. Heaven knows, he's had plenty of opportunity.

                                    2. re: pikawicca

                                      From a business standpoint, such a statement may have been productive many years ago but I can't see it being beneficial today.

                                      There are many ways to support a belief without being disrespectful to others who do not share the same belief. I see no attempt to do so here.

                                    3. re: Veggo

                                      if the owner of a company walked up to you, spat in your face, called you a nasty name and then told you "if you don't like it, don't buy my products", would you consider it wrong to follow through? Why do I care if I put him out of business? He doesn't care if I buy it or not, said so himself.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        Personal beliefs?? Thats an understatement. Its not a secret that big companies have a tendency to use corporate money to control the tide of politics. Wal-mart and Chick-Fil-A have made donations to anti-gay organizations. I wouldn't be surprised if Barilla is doing the same. As another said, vote with your pocketbooks. You're not being "antipasta" because you're refusing to buy Barilla. You're being anti-hate.

                                        "I am not ignorant about gay people. And I will buy pasta."
                                        I HAVE WONDERFUL NEWS!!!! Barilla is only one of the MANY brands of pasta out there. Besides, DeCecco is better anyways.

                                        1. re: PrinceZuko

                                          De Cecco is MUCH better than Barilla (which I never buy, for reasons of so-so quality). Nobody is asking pasta makers to be anti-racist or anti-homophobia campaigners, just to keep their mouths shut and not insult their customers.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            oh yes, i do. if neo-nazis ran a bakery that made really good bread, would i want them to go out of business? yes i would.

                                            1. re: Veggo


                                              I threw my Barilla from my pantry into the trash and will never buy it again.

                                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                                So not to stir things up further, but if we're all up on the not disrespecting people bandwagon, isn't throwing away perfectly good food disrespectful to people who don't have enough to eat? Don't eat it, don't buy it, but wouldn't the gesture that best shows your love of your fellow humans be to bring it to a food pantry?

                                                I'm undecided on what to do with my 9-pack that I just bought from Costco. If I can find the receipt I'll bring it back (I have a satisfying mental image of piles of returned product sending a message to Costco). If I can't find it, I'll donate it and hope it finds its way to someone who needs food and doesn't have a problem with this brand.

                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                  They will be able to swipe your card and find the purchase. Even if they can't, they'll still honor it but they prefer to find record, of course.

                                                  1. re: Chris VR

                                                    Returning and exchanging for a different brand would be the best ways to express your protest. Giving it to a food pantry promotes the product, even if the recipient is not paying for it.

                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                      Bring it to a local food bank, or a shelter/kitchen/church meal program so they can cook it and nourish those who are far less blessed (materially-speaking) than we are and who are too hungry and not even in the position to debate about the politics of food.

                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                        yes, just don't buy more if this is the path one believes is right. if you return it who knows what happens, probably goes in the chucker and just the label sent back.

                                                        If so, give it anonymously to a food bank and write a letter to Barilla how many homeless and non-traditional kids are eating tonight without the benefit of a sacral family.

                                                2. Ruth, thank you for posting this. I'd seen it on FB. I've bought my last product from them. They're certainly entitled to their beliefs and I respect that. And I'm entitled to mine. And sometimes mine speak with the dollars I have to spend.

                                                  1. Barilla is crap anyway, and their asinine, shit values just drive that point further home for me. Now if DeCecco started hate mongering, I'd be in trouble.

                                                    1 Reply
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                                                      1. I'm disappointed. I have been buying Barilla for years. I'm tired of all the ignorance about gay people. I guess it's time I learned to make homemade pasta.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Reston

                                                          Making pasta is a lot easier than selling out to someone like Barilla. IMO.

                                                          1. re: Reston

                                                            I am not ignorant about gay people. And I will buy pasta.