Boicott Barilla

September 27, 2013

This is why I will never purchase Barilla pasta again.

Guido Barilla, who controls the fourth-generation Barilla Group family business with his two brothers, sparked outrage among activists, consumers and some politicians when he said he would not consider using a gay family to advertise Barilla pasta.

“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company,” he told Italian radio on Wednesday evening. “I would not do it but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others … [but] I don’t see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family.”

Asked what effect he thought his attitude would have on gay consumers of pasta, Barilla said: “Well, if they like our pasta and our message they will eat it; if they don’t like it and they don’t like what we say they will … eat another.”

A day later he apparently had been talked to by either the bean counters or lawyers (or both).

The Barilla chairman issued a statement saying that he was sorry if his remarks had caused offence and that he had only been trying to draw attention to the “central role” played by women within the family.

“I apologise if my words generated misunderstandings or arguments, or if they offended the sensibilities of some people,” he said.

So he’s a sexist anachronism too. Wonderful. Yeah, I’m the one in the household that is most likely to default to making a pasta dinner, genius.

And no, I’m not buying your retrenching because your words were exceptionally clear the first time, Guido. Walking it back now and pretending you didn’t mean what you said is what is even more insulting to me, your occasional previous customer.

[Guido] went on to discuss gay rights, saying that he “respected everyone” and was in favour of gay marriage, but against gay adoption.

Nice try. Clearly, you do not respect gay people. So you are totally full of stuff and nonsense on this one. Again, which makes for the additional charge of insulting my intelligence.

Sorry, but I have other pedestrian box-pasta to choose from at the market. And I will choose elsewhere.

Attention other competing pasta companies! My consumer dollars are now up for grabs to whichever of you launches the most touching and diverse Family Dinner styled ad campaign. Hint, the first one should probably be a gay couple. One of them obviously an ethnic Italian archetype of some sort would be bonus.

18 Responses to “Boicott Barilla”

  1. Grumble Says:

    “Boicott”? And I suppose the other half of the population should femmecott?


  2. Whatever happened to normal, American boxed pasta (we called them “noodles” because we weren’t pretentious) like Creamette? That’s what we ate in the Midwest growing up. But when I moved to the East Coast and now the West, it’s all this “imported from Italy” stuff like Barilla. I can’t even find Creamette in San Diego.


  3. Dr Becca Says:

    Pasta is not worth the calories unless it tastes really, really good, and Barilla was always only a half-step above Mueller/Ronzoni or whatever anyway. DeCecco at an absolute minimum.


  4. whizbang Says:

    Just changed my purchasing habits. The Barillas can go hang out at ChickFilA!


  5. Barilla is fucken horrendous swill. This shizz is the shizznit:

    Although whoever designed their all-Flash Web site deserves to be killed by being run through a pasta machine.


  6. Busy Says:

    Becca, no one should count food in “calories”. They are not all the same. Some calories come in forms that can easily be processed/eliminated others in forms that tend to stick to you. Pasta is mostly carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are used by the body for energy. The recommended daily intake of carbs for the average person is 130 grams, more if you are physically active.


  7. DrugMonkey Says:

    If you don’t like pasta you don’t really like food.


  8. Dave Says:

    Becca, no one should count food in “calories”. They are not all the same.

    This is very much a debated issue. At the end of the day, and thermodynamically, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It’s as simple as that.

    Pasta is not worth the calories unless it tastes really, really good



  9. Busy Says:

    At the end of the day, and thermodynamically, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

    Which is exactly where the error in your thinking lies. Some calories are ready for consumption by the body, while others require lengthy processing before they can burned away.

    It’s as simple as that.

    Nope. This is like saying that sugar and gasoline are equivalent for fueling cars since thermodynamically a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.


  10. Dave Says:



  11. Joanne Says:

    Plus, its a classic non-apology apology: I’m not sorry for what I said, I’m sorry that you were offended by what I said.


  12. dsks Says:

    Well, if nothing else this just gave me a great idea for a fun meal for the bairns next week.

    Time to represent.


  13. Ola Says:

    I really wonder how much anyone really thinks about the ethics behind the things they buy

    The gas you put in the car that comes from a hole in the ground in a war zone. The Nutella and other delicious things made with palm oil from plantations on former rain-forest land. Fast food of any kind whatsoever (all as bad as each other). Anything made with dried milk (Parmalat links to organized crime, Nestle shilling baby formula in Africa). Don’t even get started on the clothes most of us wear, or the source of the wood for the furniture in our abodes, or the gold and other conflict minerals in the computer you’re using right now. The list is endless.

    So yeah, big frickin’ deal, some dude nobody had ever heard of before (and likely will have forgotten by next week) said something to indicate he’s a bigot. He said it on an Italian language radio show (in Italy!) that I would bet 99.99999% of English speaking Barilla customers have never listed to, or will ever listen to. If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a noise? By all means, don’t buy his product, but do you have to shout about it on the blogs and the Twitts and everywhere, thus furnishing the oxygen of publicity?


  14. SidVic Says:

    It must be exhausting being DM. Monitoring the attitudes of those producers worldwide and adjusting buying habits accordingly. Careful least you become a parody of a prissy pedantic, and potentially pasta-less academician.


  15. dsks Says:

    Well yes I mean, clearly, there’s really neither sense nor justification in taking a stand against inequality ‘A’ unless one is also simultaneously aware of, and actively campaigning against, inequality ‘B’ thru ‘Z’ (‘”Coz, yer know, like, whassapoint, yeah?”). Thus, the only rationale course of action is to live in blissful nihilistic ambivalence of it all and do nothing about anything ever.

    And God forbid anyone who learns something relevant pertaining to consumer advocacy actually passes that information on. I mean, why bother? Apart from being proven to alter business practices for the better on numerous occasions, is there really anything to be gained from consumer activism anyway?

    Or, to summarize the above, nobody should do anything about gay-hating CEOs because… Syria. and Peak Oil. And Crabgrass.


  16. DrugMonkey Says:

    Amen dsks. Especially about crabgrass. I hate that fucker. crabgrass.


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