Author: M. G.
On September 26 Guido Barilla, chairman of the largest pasta brand in the world carrying his family name, stated that his company would never show gay families in his ads since their pasta is just for traditional families. After causing further international outrage with the first attempts in apologizing for his crazy comments, yesterday he felt the need of posting this video.
After his first declarations the news became viral all over the world, the BBC and The Huffington Post gave relevance to it and, again, Italy was rightly shown as the 'stuffy' country it is. Videos as well as images about gay families and pasta became viral too, mainly through the social networks of other Italian and international brands of pasta - sharks. Moreover, the Twitter hashtag #boycottbarilla grew in visibility on the social media and people from all over the world started promoting the initiative.
I think that as soon as Barilla's managers read the word ‘boycott' they started shivering with terror since they know that nowadays gays can play hard when someone provoke them. The speech of the video was quite good eventually, I like the part when he says: "The reactions to my words hit me and grieved me. I still have to learn a lot about the debate on the family's evolution and I will meet exponents of those associations that better represent this evolution, among which those I offended with my statements". Since I believe more in facts than in words, I wait with hope for further developments.
One thing you can learn from this story about Italy is that Italians care a lot about their reputation, especially among the international community. I believe that Barilla's reaction was not given just by economical reasons and it would not have been the same if the blame had come just from within the Italian borders. Italians can change their mind, or at least they can say that they were wrong, but they need help to do so. So I really would like to thank those who have supported Italian gays in this occasion. However, I am also sure that they had fun because when it comes to Italy most of the time it is because of something funny if not ridiculous - you can enjoy some videos about gays and pasta here and here.