Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Social Networks Facebook Twitter

Social Networks Force Barilla Chairman To Apologize For His Anti-gay Remarks 456

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-poke-the-internet-with-a-stick dept.
ifchairscouldtalk writes "Pasta maker Barilla is in hot water over its chairman's anti-gay comments. Guido Barilla said his brand would 'never feature gays in ads' because Barilla does not agree with them. He added, '[if gay people] like our pasta and our advertising, they'll eat our pasta, if they don't like it then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand.' Vehement protest worldwide calling for a boycott of Barilla products via Twitter and Facebook forced the chairman to apologize with a video on Facebook."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Social Networks Force Barilla Chairman To Apologize For His Anti-gay Remarks

Comments Filter:
  • It figures! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jay Vollmer (2882139) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @10:49AM (#44979039)
    Pasta-maker CEO in hot water? Is his name Al Dente?
  • FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geek (5680) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @10:51AM (#44979053)

    The guy is entitled to his opinion and to run the company as he wishes. If you don't like it don't buy it. Enough with the stupid fucking boycotts that are nothing but attempts at silencing free speech.

    And wtf does a pasta makers stance on gays have to do with slashdot anyway? Can we stop pushing an agenda yet?

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @10:53AM (#44979081)

      Choosing where I spend my money is violating someone else's free speech? What the fuck, dude?!?

      • by Kohath (38547)

        Only when you're deciding to not hire someone.
        Or when you're deciding not to photograph someone's wedding.
        Or when you're deciding not to buy overpriced health insurance.

        Then it's not your money or your labor and you'll be forced to pay and/or work against your will.

      • Re:FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @03:53PM (#44980807)

        The thing with this is there's a difference between a boycott, and then threatening them, their customers, sponsors, partners, etc with physical violence. All too often the later is what ends up happening. That cupcake business for example didn't stop because they had no customers, they had to stop because they were in fear for their lives. That is where the freedom of speech comes in.

        Somebody cracking a gay joke or not wanting to put a gay themed ad out doesn't deserve that kind of thing. Even if you don't agree, the first amendment does.

        • by porges (58715)

          Which "cupcake business" is that? I found a couple of possible instances but both businesses are still there.

        • by seebs (15766)

          The first amendment doesn't, really. All the first amendment covers is Congress making laws. That said, the principle of free speech says that they should not be threatened with violence. ... That said, I am pretty suspicious that there's a lot more people saying they were threatened than are actually threatened, because I've never in my life met one of these people who threatens people with violence, and I've met lots of people who said completely different things, then got accused of threatening people wi

    • Re: FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @10:55AM (#44979089)

      If he is allowed to run he company as he wishes, he should be prepared to deal with the backlash when spouting out such homophobic responses. If you are the chairman of a company you must keep in mind your public image because you are not just representing yourself when you speak out like this. Especially, if you are talking about your companies products.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How is disagreeing with someone a sign of fear (phobia)?

        • How is disagreeing with someone a sign of fear (phobia)?

          Because a phobia is a mental disorder, and people like to take the easy way out of an argument by claiming that their opponent is wrong because "their brain is broken." It's easier than rational debate.

        • It's not, but "homophobia" gets used even when it's inaccurate because there's no word for "gay hater" in common use. (It's hard to construct one too: "mishomony," maybe?)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Poorcku (831174)
            It is one of the most obscene and vulgar uses of a non-scientific term. Not only it isn't a valid scientific construct (Homophobia is not listed in any version of DSM and/or ICD) but it masquerades as one (since it has the suffix -phobia) which makes it even more dangerous. It implies a disorder when there is none making your "opponent" defending his ideas from an untenable position. The one who came up with this idea is a genius and should go to hell.
            • Re: FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @01:16PM (#44979879) Homepage Journal
              The -phobia suffix has been used to demarcate prejudices since long, long before the DSM was even conceived of. "Gallophobia" (fear/hate of the Gallic people, i.e. the French) dates back to 1840 at the latest. You are mistaken to presume it necessarily implies a disorder, or any sort of academic authority.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Poorcku (831174)
                Usually these kinds of "phobias" are described as fear, prejudice, hatred, discrimination, or hostility towards the object of the "phobia".

                But our Barilla guy did not any show any of these: disapproval was all it took to get labeled. I call shenanigans. And as a psychologist I am terribly upset by the lack of harsh positioning on the APA's side. While they disapprove of liberal use of clinical terminology they do not do anything more.
            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              Homophobic is actually a pretty good description of the problem - an irrational fear of homosexuality. Normal people tend not to talk in medical terms, words can have more than one meaning, meanings change over time, etc. etc.

        • by seebs (15766)

          Not all phobia is "fear" in the straightforward way. No one worries that spraying materials with scotchguard makes them "afraid" of water.

          Secondly... While many anti-gays aren't really exhibiting phobic behavior, some are. Go browse Not Always Right for a while, and look at some of the people who start freaking out and screaming because a store has a gay clerk. That's reasonably categorized as phobia-like.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If he is allowed to run he company as he wishes, he should be prepared to deal with the backlash when spouting out such homophobic responses. If you are the chairman of a company you must keep in mind your public image because you are not just representing yourself when you speak out like this. Especially, if you are talking about your companies products.

        He is NOT homophobic is he decides for whatever reason (religion i suspect) that he doesn't want his company to promote a lifestyle he doesn't agree with. He didn't say gay people could not buy his pasta or that gay people should be put in pasta free concentration camps. He didn't even tell gay people to not be gay. He just said he didn't want gay people advertising his product. His company, his right to do that. He did not take away anyone's freedom. As if who you have sex with is some kind of protec

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Technically, he didn't spout a homophobic response. His original response was to the question of whether or not they would target gays in commercials by showing gay couples to which he responded no. He further responded if gays liked his pasta they would buy it, if not they would buy somebody elses. He didn't see the need to treat gays as a separate demographic when dealing with pasta (do gays really have different pasta needs then non-gays?) It is the media that has turned this around into an anti-gay thi

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @10:57AM (#44979111) Homepage Journal

      so you agree with if you don't like it don't buy it but disagree with boycotts? what the fuck?

      though I'm more worried why the fuck someone is even listening what the fuck some pasta maker guy says. all their adverts are basically the same anyways, some family making food or just macro shots of spaghetti. if they changed to a gay couple fencing with spaghettis.. it might be brilliant marketing.

      but also why the fuck is this on slashdot...

      • Re:FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tom (822) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:31AM (#44979291) Homepage Journal

        but also why the fuck is this on slashdot...

        Because it's on these new cool social networks that only geeks know about and ... uh, what? It's not 2005 anymore? Really?

        Ok, I have no idea. Slow news day? Some editor found it funny? Misclick? Cat video scared the editors in hitting "accept" on three random submissions? Wrong moon phase?

      • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wjcofkc (964165) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:53AM (#44979401)
        but also why the fuck is this on slashdot...

        Because an equal amount of the nerd community relative to the rest of society is gay. That makes this news that matters to many nerds. But truly that is not quite enough to justify this being on slashdot. This is also an example of technology pushing social change further than it has ever been able to go by itself. So we have: 1. nerds 2. news that matters very much to many nerds 3. a news story that matters to a lot of nerds that is firmly based in technology as an example of how it is rapidly reshaping society.

        That's why it's on slashdot, it fits the bill.
        • Re:FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

          by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @12:52PM (#44979759) Journal

          This is also an example of technology pushing social change further than it has ever been able to go by itself.

          Ineffective boycotts are farther than technology has ever gone? No, we've had ineffective boycotts long before then. Remember when Chic-fil-a closed because of the boycott? Neither do I.

          • by wjcofkc (964165)
            But do you remember the social stir and dialog that resulted from it? Much of it was constructive. Apparently you do.
            • Re:FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

              by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @02:19PM (#44980217)

              What constructive dialog are you talking about?

              Some liberals were pissed that the owner was a homophobe. Some conservatives rallied to support the homophobe just to spite the liberals. Some asshole mayor tried to ban Chik-fil-a from his town. And then nothing happened.

              The only thing to come out of it was that Americans were left hating their neighbors slightly more than they did before.

          • Ineffective boycotts are farther than technology has ever gone?

            The mere threat of a boycott caused the CEO to publicly apologize. How was that "ineffective"?

            Remember when Chic-fil-a closed because of the boycott? Neither do I.

            Chic-fil-a did not close, but they got a lot of negative publicity, and now other restaurant chains will be reluctant to take sides on divisive social issues. When I drive past a Chic-fil-a, I have a mental image of two ugly guys having sex, and I lose my appetite.

            • When I drive past a Chic-fil-a, I have a mental image of two ugly guys having sex, and I lose my appetite.

              You didn't lose your appetite just at seeing a Chic-fil-a?

              now other restaurant chains will be reluctant to take sides on divisive social issues.

              I see that as a negative.

          • by wjcofkc (964165)
            Your response to my response to his response really makes no sense. I was answering a very specific part of his question.

            I never said anything about boycotts. Moreover it's the technology fueled dialog these situations create. Such as this.
            • Your point rested on the idea of "technology pushing social change further than it has ever been able to go by itself."
          • by dj245 (732906)

            This is also an example of technology pushing social change further than it has ever been able to go by itself.

            Ineffective boycotts are farther than technology has ever gone? No, we've had ineffective boycotts long before then. Remember when Chic-fil-a closed because of the boycott? Neither do I.

            There is a small difference here. Chic-fil-a is pretty darn delicious for a fast-food restaurant. Their chicken is properly chicken, and not some ridiculous processed patty like the major fast-food chains have. I disagree with the owners completely, but the product is so good I won't stop eating there. We don't have them in the northeast US, generally, so I eat there when I can. In other words, there are many reasons to eat there, and only a minor reason to not eat there.

            However, there are dozens of

        • by evilviper (135110)

          This is also an example of technology pushing social change further than it has ever been able to go by itself.

          We've had fire and the wheel for a few years now... We can stop putting every news story under the umbrella of: "Technology was involved, somehow".

          And if /. is the supposed hall of reverence for all things technology, why isn't every story mentioning homosexuality, followed up with links to current scientific research as they narrow in on biological causes, and develop therapies that can prevent

          • by seebs (15766)

            Probably because they're not relevant to the story. We have technology right now to prevent male or female babies; that doesn't mean that this should be a prominent part of any story about sexism. ("And a reminder, the only reason women are getting treated this way is that people keep having girl babies, despite technology allowing us to detect them very early and abort them.")

      • "so you agree with if you don't like it don't buy it but disagree with boycotts? what the fuck?"

        There is a difference that you have missed. With a boycott you don't just "not buy it", but also try to convince others to refrain from purchasing their products as well. It isn't a major difference, but there is a difference.

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr. Slippery (47854) <(ten.suomafni) (ta) (smt)> on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:01AM (#44979125) Homepage

      If you don't like it don't buy it. Enough with the stupid fucking boycotts that are nothing but attempts at silencing free speech.

      You're not making any sense. A boycott is nothing but a large group of people saying "we don't like it, so we're not buying it." Boycotts (and buycotts [wikipedia.org]) are an exercise in free speech and free markets. It is antiboycott laws (such as the blatantly unconstitutional one the U.S. has to squash criticism of Israel [doc.gov]) that are attempts at silencing free speech.

      • by Jiro (131519)

        The antiboycott law is aimed at the boycott of Israel by the Arab League. The Arab League is composed of governments, whi can apply governmental pressure, either by deciding how to use taxpayer-collected money, or directly by not allowing companies to operate within their borders. Companies boycotting Israel as part of this are not exercising in actions of free speech, but of governmentally-coerced speech, and this can only be stopped by government coercion in the opposite direction.

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sandytaru (1158959) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:03AM (#44979133) Journal
      He's entitled to his personal opinion. But a CEO is a very public position, and they're being paid to represent not just themselves, but also their company. For as much money as those guys make, you'd think they'd learn to separate their private opinions from their public company representation. The correct way to position this would have been: "I don't like gay people. Marketing hasn't come up with a good commercial to feature gay people, and maybe they never will. But they can still eat our pasta if they want."

      Shucks, if someone wanted to pay me five million dollars a year, I'd learn to keep my mouth shut.
      • by PRMan (959735)
        That is almost exactly what he said. If people agree with him, they should buy MORE Barilla pasta sauce.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The story is about the power of social networks, not about a pasta maker's stance on gays.

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:07AM (#44979157)

      The guy is entitled to his opinion and to run the company as he wishes

      The instant you decide one person's money is less than another's, you've become bad at business.

      The converse of this is when you decide to give away too many freebies to your "friends" which is also bad business.

      I've personally seen businesses go under because of shit like this.

      He deserves this and your defense of this is idiotic.

      --
      BMO

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The people pushing the gay agenda are as rabid as any religious group. Be gay if you want. I'm all about personal freedom. Just stop trying to make the rest of the world gay, too. Tolerance != acceptance.

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:11AM (#44979187)

      Enough with the stupid fucking boycotts that are nothing but attempts at silencing free speech.

      Furthermore, free speech does not mean to be free from criticism.

      You are entirely free to say dumb things. Other people are free to say those things are dumb.

      --
      BMO

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:45AM (#44979365) Homepage

      Enough with the stupid fucking boycotts that are nothing but attempts at silencing free speech.

      Boycotts are free speech, genius.

    • by ATMAvatar (648864)

      The guy is entitled to his opinion and to run the company as he wishes. If you don't like it don't buy it. Enough with the stupid fucking boycotts...

      Boycott [wikipedia.org] - this word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • As predicted in Slate [slate.com], Guido Barilla (yes, that's his name) issues meaningless apology. For those counting at home, this is actually the forth one. Now what?

  • On a lighter note with chick-fil-a profits at an all time high what does this chairman have to fear but fear itself?

    Seriously there does seem to be a general lack of respect and tolerance for the opinions of others in the faceb00c twitterverseternet. So someone thinks your god is a loser or orange people are inferior to purple people or those who eat rice with their bare hands are cave dwelling vampires. If someone says or does something you personally don't agree with or you don't like is it really alway

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      On a lighter note with chick-fil-a profits at an all time high what does this chairman have to fear but fear itself?

      Apples to oranges. Dry pasta is pretty much indistinguishable between brands when cooked. Chik-fil-a has pretty much no competitor in the South in regards to their core product (you can tell a difference between a chikfila sandwich and its equivalent from, say McDonalds). There is much more loyalty to brands in the fast food industry than there is in pasta. There is also the fact that a CEOs personal belief really doesn't matter all that much. People have other overriding concerns: for example I have no problem with gays or gay marriage, but I like chikfila so I buy it (not too often though as I try to stay away from fast food) and if I need pasta and it is on sale, I will probably buy Barilla if it is cheapest. I don't care what the CEOs think about gay marriage, or their preference regarding boxers or briefs or hell, even women's underwear, who am I to judge? Because none of that really matters.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Exactly this. Since Chik-Fil-A is doing just fine, maybe Barilla should ignore the extremely vocal minority and see what the majority does with their purchasing power...
      • by Minupla (62455)

        There is a danger in this -

        I do the grocery shopping for our house. Pasta is a "which is cheapest" decision.

        Typically it's a dime or so difference and about 2 seconds of decision making process. Sometimes I go for the cheapest, sometimes I step up a level, depending largely on my gut reaction that day. Typically "up a level" is Barilla. Now if I buy Barilla I'm supporting someone whose views I don't agree with, so it's more likely I'll save the 20 cents and go no-name.

        Min

        • by ozydingo (922211)
          I guarantee you that if you by any pasta, or really any product at all, you're supporting someone whose views you don't agree with.
    • by fermion (181285)
      To start, chick fil a has an excellent market niche and excellent advertising. It sells very cheap junk food, albeit above average quality junk food, at reletively high prices enabling it keep it's niche and advertising. In fact the"chicken" sandwich is from a nutritional point of view much better than at most other junk food restaurants.

      This is very different from a pasta manufacturer, as most americans simply see pasta as cheap commodity product. Which chickfila there are few other options in the cat

    • In my view intolerance and lack of respect for the views of others is no different than intolerance of race/religion/sex*/..etc. Intolerance is intolerance.

      It's for ideas like this that the saying "it's important to be open-minded, but not so much that your brains fall out" was coined. Tolerance and respect for the views of others are, on the whole, a good thing. But the views of people who believe that other people are in the wrong simply for living their lives as they see fit deserve not tolerance and respect, but scorn and condemnation. It's pretty much the verbal equivalent of another fine saying, "your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I want to support someone normal.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I will be sure to buy only Barilla pasta from now on.
      He has his opinion and that's all, after-all it is his business.
      Why should eveyone bow to whatever gays say.
      Because of their constant bull shit I went from being open minded to not supporting them.
      I think they should shut the fuck up and let other's have their opinions.

  • Am I the only one cynical enough to see this as a publicity stunt to get his product's name some free press?

    Step 1: make an inane statement that deeply offends some group, guaranteeing press coverage.

    Step 2: make a "heartfelt" apology for those that were offended by his words.

    Step 3: draw it out for a few more weeks by meeting representatives of the groups he offended, and probably make some large corporate donations to said groups.

    Step 4: profit (?)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @01:25PM (#44979931)

    Firstly, why are Barilla's remarks considered anti-gay? I don't feel they are. His position is that if you like his pasta, gay or not, you are free to buy it.

    Secondly, there is no universal "book of law" that states Barilla's beliefs & values must reflect anybody or everybody else's. Hypocrisy abounds. The fervor of gay community elements have reached shrieking "reverse discrimination" pitches.

    Thirdly, Barilla owes nothing to the gay community. He makes pasta. I think if he doesn't want to feature homosexuality as a cornerstone to a freaking pasta advertisement, that should be his choice. Why should he be forced politicize pasta?

    • Exactly.

      Can we mod the article as: -1, Overblown Knee-Jerk Reaction

      Who gives a shit about the *opinion* of some businessman.

  • by Solandri (704621) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @03:25PM (#44980647)
    Snopes actually has a pretty good summary of the situation [snopes.com]. The guy supports gay rights and gay marriage. He is, however, against adoption by gay parents (because it involves a person who has no choice in the matter). He wants advertisements for his pasta to focus on families, and since his beliefs (and biology) prohibit gay parents from having kids, they cannot appear in his ads.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yosho (135835)

      He is, however, against adoption by gay parents (because it involves a person who has no choice in the matter).

      That prompts the question, why isn't he against adoption by heterosexual parents?

      • by Kidbro (80868)

        ...or heterosexuals having children by the regular process. The kids don't really have a choice either way.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Implicit in that argument is that there is a reason why a child might not want to be adopted by gay parents.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

Working...