Facing a worldwide boycott of his products, the chairman of Barilla pasta on Friday issued his second apology in as many days after saying he “would never do an advertisement with a homosexual family … if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.”
Guido Barilla, a fourth generation packaged food mogul who leads the still-family run business with his brothers Luca and Paolo, reiterated his apology from Thursday after gay rights activists called his remarks an “offensive provocation” and called for a boycott of the company’s pasta, sauces and snacks.
Backlash for Barilla’s remarks — made during an Italian radio broadcast on Wednesday — has been unrelenting, and his words repeated in mainstream media worldwide, as gay rights advocates and allies began dumping Barilla products.
On Friday, Barilla took to Facebook with a second apology.
“Yesterday I apologized for offending many people around the world,” Barilla said in the video. “Today I am repeating that apology.”
“I have heard the countless reactions around the world to my words, which have depressed and saddened me. It is clear that I have a lot to learn about the lively debate concerning the evolution of the family,” he said.
“In the coming weeks, I pledge to meet representatives of the group that best represent the evolution of the family, including those who have been offended by my words.”
In his first apology, in a statement issued by the company Thursday, Barilla said: “I’m sorry if my comments on La Zanzara 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.”