Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ask Costco To Cancel Its Barilla Pasta Contract

 Barilla addresses Cisco Italian expo via Flickr

Alan: I understand people who prefer "traditional, heterosexual families." I understand people who express their preference publicly. However, I do not understand how Mr. Barilla's opinion is much different from a bigoted CEO saying, "We prefer white people. Black people can buy someone else's product." Clearly, prejudice infects us all.  I, for example, believe Tea Bags are treacherous quislings determined to trash the American experiment.  ("Sarah Palin: I Can See The Tea Party From Here!" )  And so, being afflicted with similar prejudice, I tolerate white people who prefer white people - wan devotees of a "peculiar institution" that sees blacks as socialist Muslim Anti-Christs. Chest-thumping tribalism runs trench-deep... so why pontificate against the inevitable? Still, Barilla should have kept his mouth shut. Or, in light of Guido's view that "gays can always eat another brand of pasta," let's hope they do.  Apparently Guido (dulled by the stupefaction of great wealth?) did not take into account legions of straight friends - including most of the "family women" he so admires.  

Surely Mr. Barilla is familiar with market forces. 

Most often they work like this.

Not this time.


Contact Costco at


September 27 Follow-Up: 

At Costco today, I spoke with assistant manager Joe M. about Guido Barilla's recent statement on the inferiority of gays. 

Joe winced when I explained the gist of the "suggestion" I made: "A couple days ago, Guido Barilla, the owner of Barilla Pasta Products told gays they could "go somewhere else to buy pasta." I encourage Costco to stop stocking all Barilla products."

If you would like to make "suggestions" of your own, it is helpful to know that Costco's "Suggestion Box" (at least in Durham, North Carolina) is located on the right-hand side of the exit runway, about 25 feet before the door itself.

I was told that these suggestions are reviewed daily and that their contents are relayed to Costco management.

Guido Barilla, president of the family-owned Barilla pasta company, said in a radio interview on Wednesday that his company only supports “the traditional family” and that LGBT people “can go eat someone else’s pasta.” According to John Aravosis at Americablog, Barilla has since backtracked on his remarks somewhat, but many LGBT people around the world are reacting angrily to the slam by the head of the massive, global brand.
“We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family,” Barilla told an interviewer. “If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn’t bother anyone else.”
Barilla said today that he meant no ill will toward LGBT people with his remarks, saying in a statement, “With reference to statements made yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they have hurt the sensibilities of some people. In the interview I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family.”
He also said that he has “the utmost respect for any person, without distinction of any kind,” and “the greatest respect for gays and for the freedom of expression of anyone.”
Reuters reported that rights groups are calling for a boycott of Barilla’s pastas, sauces and other foods.
Aurelio Mancuso of Equality Italia called Barilla’s remarks an “offensive provocation” and added that “(w)e accept the invitation from the Barilla owner to not eat his pasta.”
Gay Italian minister of parliament Alessandro Zan tweeted, “You can’t mess around with consumers, including gay ones.”

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