The worst has happened: I have been betrayed by noodles. There are not enough ways in Italian to say "WTF" to Guido Barilla, chairman of Barilla pasta, who declared this yesterday:
We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family. If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn’t bother anyone else.
I read and re-read that sentence several times this morning, shocked that anyone could be so terribly insensitive, downright cruel, and certainly disgustingly homophobic.
Gay and nontraditional families already have such a terribly low media and commercial presence, but times are changing. Wouldn't it be better for business to the outstanding thing and actually feature a family with two parents of the same-sex enjoying some a hot, steamy bowl of spaghetti?
Prince/De Cecco/Whole Foods- this is your chance!
I love pasta and noodles more than the average carboholic, but when it comes down to issues of human rights and equality, there's no way in a hell full of boiling water without any noodles in it that I'm going to turn my back on my values. Barilla doesn't have to promote LGBTQ rights, nor does it have any obligation to, but I feel that as a loyal consumer of Barilla products for countless years, a spaghetti fork has been stabbed in my back.
I wish I could take back every penny I've ever invested in Barilla products. I wish I hadn't served their penne with roasted tomatoes to a girlfriend, or used their orzo in a pasta salad at a college LGBTQA potluck. I wish I didn't slurp up an entire bowl of angel hair with butter after I was exhausted from Pride this year. But I did. And I'm angry.
My pantry is full of Barilla products that I now have to shamefully eat my way through, because I value not wasting food, for better for for worse.
In order to clarify his words, Mr. Barilla issued this awesome follow-up statement:
With reference to statements made yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they have hurt the sensibilities of some people. In the interview I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family.
Keep it in the kitchen, ladies, hopefully serving some steamy al dente linguine to your man.
And in case you were wondering, Barilla is sorry that you feel bad. But sorry, they're not sorry.
While we cannot undo words that have been said, we can apologize. To all of those that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.
— Barilla US (@BarillaUS) September 26, 2013
**This piece was sent to Barilla. Feel free to do your part and give them a piece of your mind. Or whip them with a wet noodle.