Business

Barilla Pasta Chairman In Hot Water Over Comments On Gays

New York Lawmakers, Others Call For Boycott
Barilla products (Michael Loccisano/
Getty Images Entertainment)

Barilla products (Michael Loccisano/
Getty Images Entertainment)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Make it al dente, not al dent gay.

An executive of the Italy-based pasta maker Barilla has apologized for hurting anyone’s “sensitivity” after saying the company would never feature ads depicting gay families.

Chairman Guido Barilla’s comments Wednesday in an Italian radio interview triggered calls to boycott his company’s products, which include cookies and bread.

Many of the company’s ads depict heterosexual parents with children gathered for breakfast or dinner.

Barilla said he supports gay marriage but not adoption since it would be “complicated” for same-sex couples to raise children.

“I would never do a commercial with a homosexual family. Not out of disrespect but because we do not think like them, ours is a traditional family where the woman has a crucial role…We have a different concept than the gay family. For us, the sacred concept of family remains a core value of the company,”  Barilla said.

After calls mounted on Twitter for boycotts, he reiterated his backing for gay marriage in a statement Thursday, but insisted that traditional families have always been “identified” with the Barilla brand.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman and New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick Thursday called for a boycott of Barilla products, and issued the following statement:

“It is appalling that a global business leader like Guido Barilla would make bigoted and disrespectful comments about LGBT families, especially considering the international reach of the LGBT community. LGBT families are a fundamental part of communities across the globe. It is not acceptable for Mr. Barilla suggest that our families are in any way inferior.”

“Already, a call for a boycott of Barilla products has been issued by LGBT rights activists and is flying across Twitter (#BarillaBoycott and #BoicottaBarilla).  We join that call, and ask concerned New Yorkers to refrain from purchasing products under the Barilla label. Together, we can send an unequivocal message that bigotry and intolerance will not go unanswered, and even large corporations will be held accountable.”

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