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, youre not going to see any gays in Barillas advertising. And if gays dont like it, they can always go eat someone elses 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 corporations feelings about the gays really are on closer inspection. Im 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. Its unfortunate, I guess, that Barilla (or at least Guido Barilla) is behind the times on this matter, but the earnest anger Im 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?
Sticking to your retrograde ideas in the face of evidence to the contrary is one thing, but Barillas ignorance of the gay and lesbian market sector is just bad business. This year, as LGBTs, were estimated to have a collective buying power of around $790 billion and thats just in the United States. Thats 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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