Anti-gay comments from the president of Barilla pasta have sparked an international boycott of the brand, a movement that spread quickly online after he said gay families would not be included in the brand's advertising.
"I would never make a spot with a homosexual family," said Guido Barilla on a radio show in Italy. "Not out of a lack of respect 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 radio hosts pointed out to him that gays and lesbians eat pasta, Barilla said: "That's fine if they like our pasta and our communication, they can eat them. Otherwise, they can eat another pasta."
The world's gay community and its allies were all too happy to take him up on his suggestion.
"We accept his invitation to not eat his pasta," said Aurelio Mancuso, president of gay-rights group Equality Italia.
Gay advocacy group GLAAD said it planned to contact U.S. supermarkets and officials to speak out against Barilla's comments, said Rich Ferarro, who also emailed Barilla an invitation to "get to know how traditional we really are."
"These insulting anti-gay comments will not only lead to LGBT people skipping Barilla, but their family members, friends and coworkers as well," a spokesman for GLAAD said. "Homophobia is bad for business -- plain and simple."
On Twitter, where these kinds of movements tend to find their footing, the hashtags #boicottabarilla and #boycottbarillla showed a brutal reaction.
I hear Barilla pasta is making a new product--bigotoni.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) September 27, 2013
Other pasta brands, including Garofalo and Bertolli, were all-too-happy to jump in and pledge their support to couples of all kinds.
Garofalo responds brilliantly to the bigot comments made by Guido Barilla :) pic.twitter.com/QdqyLlFiJr— Tome Cvitan (@cvitan) September 27, 2013