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Barilla, the pasta manufacturer, is facing threats of a boycott because of comments its chairman, Guido Barilla, made on an Italian radio program.

According to various translations, Barilla said that his company would never feature gay couples in advertisements "not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them ... Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role."

Barilla added, "I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose ... Everyone has a the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them."

And he said, if gay people don't agree with him, "they can go eat another brand."

Which is precisely what LGBT activists now are suggesting.

Since the public backlash against his comments, Barilla reportedly has tried to walk back his positions a bit, saying he respects gay people and gay marriage, but just wanted to stress the importance of women to the family unit. "I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they hurt someone’s sensitivity," reads a statement on the company's website.
KC's View:
People - even senior executives - have a right to their opinions, and even have a right to make statements like these. But they have to know that if they make comments that a segment of their customer base will find demeaning, there likely will be consequences. Especially these days, when comments made on an Italian radio show can find their way onto websites all over the world.

Do I personally find these comments to be offensive? Sure. Will it affect what pasta I buy? Probably. I don't use Barilla pasta much (these days I'm using Colavita because they are an MNB sponsor), but next time I see Barilla on the shelf, I'll bypass it because of these comments. And there will be plenty of people like me ... just as there probably will be folks who will buy Barilla now because they approve of his position. Though, to be fair, most people probably won;t know or care.

Poor Guido. I feel bad for him, in part because his 19th century sensibilities just got exposed to the harsh light and cold air of 21st century realities. It isn't only gay people who ought to be annoyed at him. He also seems to think that women ought to be home making pasta, and that runs counter to the way much of the world works these days.