Pasta Barilla Doesn’t Like Gay People, So What?

#Food

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Understandably, the LGBT community is enraged that Barilla's president Guido Barilla doesn't have "a taste for gays."

[...] the Chairman of the privately-owned company, Guido Barilla, got himself into some hot water yesterday when he told an Italian radio show that Barilla is a company that “likes the traditional family.” And therefore, you’re not going to see any gays in Barilla’s advertising. And if gays don’t like it, “they can always go eat someone else’s pasta.”

However, Slate's J. Bryan Lowder asks, who cares if Barilla doesn't like gay people? And before you get more upset, he does raise some very good points. Here's my favourite:

[...] I would like to take a moment to reflect upon how troubling this and other recent dust-ups regarding some giant corporation’s “feelings” about the gays really are on closer inspection. I’m by no means the first person to say this, but being offended (or for that matter, flattered) by an entity whose sole purpose is to sell things, maybe to you or maybe to someone else, is to unavoidably endorse and enliven the insidious concept of corporate personhood. Barilla is not your enemy and Absolut is not your friend; they are just businesses with PR departments that are at different points along the road toward realizing that influential, “taste-maker” minority groups are worth courting, both for direct patronage and easy image-boost-by-association. It’s unfortunate, I guess, that Barilla (or at least Guido Barilla) is behind the times on this matter, but the earnest anger I’m seeing online about that fact is perplexing. I mean, are you really so starved for approval that you need it to come packaged with pasta?

The above image is from Advocate.com, which has a very good Editor's Letter on the whole issue:

Sticking to your retrograde ideas in the face of evidence to the contrary is one thing, but Barilla’s ignorance of the gay and lesbian market sector is just bad business. This year, as LGBTs, we’re estimated to have a collective buying power of around $790 billion — and that’s just in the United States. That’s more than the gross domestic product of Iran, or Sweden, or Turkey, or Norway. Imagine what our market power is worldwide, even just among the pasta eaters of the world.

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