John M. Becker

Do You Accept Barilla's Apology? [Open Thread]

Filed By John M. Becker | September 27, 2013 1:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Barilla pasta, boycott, family equality, Guido Barilla, heterosupremacy, Italy

bigotoni.jpgBarilla Pasta has been in damage-control mode ever since its chairman said in a radio interview Wednesday night that the company doesn't much like LGBT families, and if anyone has a problem with that, they should get their noodles from someone else.

Yesterday, as the storm of disapproval in Italy developed into a full-blown international backlash, the company released a statement that it attributed to chairman Guido Barilla:

"I'm sorry if my comments... have created misunderstanding or polemic, or if I've offended anyone. In the interview I only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family."

Of course, this statement did nothing to squelch the controversy. (Does Barilla think only men are gay? Is he seriously trying to suggest that cooking is part of a woman's "central role" in family life?) So the company tried again.

Later in the day yesterday, Barilla's U.S. division issued its own apology on its Facebook page. It reads:

At Barilla, we consider it our mission to treat our consumers and partners as our neighbors - with love and respect - and to deliver the very best products possible. We take this responsibility seriously and consider it a core part of who we are as a family-owned company. While we can't undo recent remarks, we can apologize. To all of our friends, family, employees, and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.

I don't know about you, but I'm not satisfied with this. The way I was raised, part of a proper apology is actually naming the wrong you're apologizing for. Yet the Barilla statement is frustratingly vague -- it contains absolutely no mention of LGBT people, Guido Barilla, or the homophobic comments that prompted the statement in the first place.

My parents also taught me that when you've wronged someone, the second part of a genuine apology includes a promise to do better in the future. But Barilla made no such promises.

So what are we to make of this "apology?" Does Barilla still refuse to acknowledge the existence and validity of LGBT families? Will they still ignore us in their advertising because we're not "traditional" enough for them? And does the company still believe, as chairman Barilla does, that same-sex adoption victimizes children?

As far as I'm concerned, Barilla's latest half-assed attempt is barely any better than the first. It doesn't actually name the problem ("Recent remarks"?!? What the hell?), it doesn't condemn Guido Barilla's nasty homophobia, and it doesn't contain a commitment to make things right in the future.

Sorry, Barilla, but this "apology" flopped like a wet noodle. Try again.

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments section.

Bigotoni image via Facebook.

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