My cousin Scott, a gay man (and I should also add – a fabulous human being), posted on his Facebook page a story from the Huffington Post that said that you as chairman of the Barilla Group will not feature gay families in advertisements. According to the story you want to feature “traditional families” and stated that those who disagree can go “eat another brand of pasta.” You also made it clear that while you really do not care all that much about gay marriage, you do not support gay adoptions.
Whoa Guido – say it ain’t so! I know that you may have been raised in what you would call a “traditional family”, but surely you recognize that the key elements that make up a family are love and commitment. There is no specific gender combo that is required to create such a family.
I would think that a representative of a major company – such as Barilla – would be well-educated and well-traveled enough to recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes. Be they comprised of grandparents who are parenting, or single parents, or multi-generational family units, or gay and lesbian couples – the common denominators of a family are the same – love and commitment.
But there is hope for you Guido. I see that the uproar your comments created has not been lost on your company. Yesterday you posted on Barilla’s Facebook page an apology and plans to better educate yourself on what families look like today. That is a good first step Guido.
I will watch your steps forward on this front. I am guessing we may now see Barilla commercials that feature different types of family units. I certainly hope so, because I have spent the bulk of my parenting years as a single mom. My family unit does not qualify as a “traditional family” under the definition you used earlier in the week. And you know Guido – I eat a lot of pasta. I have raised my family on a lot of pasta. We collectively have helped make Barilla the successful company it is. And there are hundreds of thousands of folks like me Guido – families like my family – who are now waiting to see what you will do to make this right. And you can bet that in the meantime none of us will be buying Barilla’s products.
Because of your comments, Barilla is now facing a Bigot Boycott. Your company is quickly learning that lots of folks define family the way I defined it above. The “traditional family” you speak of is a dated TV sitcom vision from the 1950s. It is terribly pedestrian and so far off your customers’ demographic that it makes you and Barilla (by virtue of your leadership) look like you are completely out-of-touch.
So pull it together Guido and make this right because I choose to patronize companies that value equality and recognize families of all shapes and sizes. And like I said, I eat a lot of pasta. Your actions here forward will determine whether that pasta is Barilla or not.
Day one thousand five hundred and forty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da