A candid comment made by the head of the world's largest pasta company during an interview on one of Italy's top radio networks has prompted a world-wide boycott of the company's products by homosexuals activists.
During an interview September 25 on Italy's Radio 24, Guido Barilla, chairman of the pasta and Italian food giant Barilla Group, said that his company would never feature a family headed by a same-sex couple in any of its advertising.
For years the company, whose pasta is one of the most popular worldwide, has used an ad campaign that features an ideal and happy family living in a pristine Italian countryside, along with the brand slogan: “Where there's Barilla, there's home.”
When asked about the company's possible inclusion of a “gay” family in its advertising, the 55-year-old Barilla bluntly answered that he would never allow an ad featuring a “homosexual family,” reported the Italian news agency ANSA — “not out of a lack of respect,“ Barilla emphasized, but because I do not see it like they do. My idea of family is a classic family where the woman has a fundamental role.”
When the show's host pointed out that homosexuals purchase and eat pasta, Barilla responded, “if gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta. But if they don’t they can eat someone else’s pasta.”
Guido Barilla and his brothers, Luca and Paolo, represent the fourth generation running the 136-year-old family-owned company. “I respect everyone who does what they want to do without bothering others,” the spaghetti company head said, according to news reports. He added that while he had no problem with same-sex "marriage," “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.” He said that as a father, “I believe it's very hard to raise kids in a same-sex family.”
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