Because chicken bigotry is so last year, Barilla Pasta decided to take up Chik-fil-A’s proud mantle of hating gay people. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it — and why not America’s favorite discount brand of shitty European pasta? It’s homophobia, Italian-style.
Yesterday Guido Barilla, the stereotypically named Chairman of the Parma-based food company appeared on an Italian radio show to tell gay people exactly what he thinks of them. Mr. Barilla stressed that their company “likes the traditional family” in their consumer base. This is why you won’t find any gay or lesbian families in their advertisements — because only straight couples count. Mr. Barilla told the radio show host that if gays don’t like what he has to say, “they will eat someone else’s pasta.”
“We have a slightly different culture…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…because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families. The women are crucial in this.”
GLAAD’s VP of Communications, Rich Ferraro, quickly responded:
“Homophobia is bad for business – plain and simple. Mr. Barilla’s opinion is ill informed, and he will soon learn that the new traditional family accepts gay and lesbian families and does not support companies that promote discrimination.”
And he’s right.
Gays love pasta — because we need the carb energy to fuel our exercise and gossip-abilities — so we will be more than happy to take our business elsewhere, preferably for a brand with better quality. Barilla isn’t just homophobic. It kind of sucks.
Instead, we’ve got Ronzoni, Catelli, Da Vinci and Heartland, which has gluten-free options, and none of these have said overtly bigoted things about our community any time recently. But what gays love more than a boycott is wielding our PR power. You can ask Chik-fil-A, who saw brand perception drop by 50% after their anti-gay debacle last year and stock prices plummet. Their company still hasn’t recovered.
Although he’s recently backpedaled on his statements, Mr. Barilla thought it would be easy to discriminate against LGBT people because we make up just a fraction of the American population — at around 5-10%, depending on estimates.
However, as Barilla quickly found out from social media uproar, gay people don’t stand alone. The Chik-fil-A debacle proved that our friends and family members will also boycott with us. You don’t just lose gay people. You lose a lot of the people who know us and love us, and that’s a whole lot more than 10%. We collectively vote with our dollar, and that’s a power greater than any one of us. We’ll be happy to use it to see you out.
So friends of the gays, stop eating Barilla. Heartland will be happy to have you. But if you hate gay people, if you’re a small-minded yokel who can’t stand to see two men holding hands and loathes watching that short-haired lady dancing on her daytime TV show, chow the fuck down. Get seconds. Go nuts. Barilla is looking for a customer just like you.