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Barilla pasta boss meets Italian gays to simmer down boycott

Guido Barilla, who said 'We will never have gay people in our ads', meets the main Italian LGBT associations and promises some pro-gay policies
The Barilla headquarters close to Parma, Italy. The company has apologized with the LGBT community.

Owner of the Barilla pasta company Guido Barilla has met the Italian LGBT associations this morning (7 October) in Bologna, northern Italy.

The man who made the headlines for his anti-gay remarks apologized once again to the LGBT community and proposed ‘some pro-gay policies in the future’.

His remark the firm would never feature gay people in its advertising led to boycotts which are hitting particularly hard in the US where Barilla is a top brand.

Barilla met Arcigay, Arcilesbica, Famiglie Arcobaleno, Gaynet and Equality Italia associations at the Regione Emilia-Romagna headquarters, where former Arcigay president and now regional councillor Franco Grillini has his office.

Grillini told Gay Star News: ‘We spoke about the company’s policies and about the impact on the LGBT community worldwide.

‘Mr Barilla apologized once again and told us they are really worried for the boycotting in North America. The news had a big impact in the United States and they went to the US last week to reinforce their presence in that country.’

According to Grillini, ‘we could say Barilla is going to do a pro-gay campaign in the future, but it’s not sure at the moment.

‘We have to meet again and to discuss their new ads. They’ll probably do something for our community, they have understood that LGBTs have a strong power.

‘And it’s quite surprising: now LGBT people can interfere in brand policies as well.’

Guido Barilla provoked a global boycotting when, interviewed in a radio program, said ‘We will never have gay people in our adverts’ and ‘we stand for the traditional family’.

Barilla added: ‘If gay people do not like it, then they can always go eat someone else’s pasta.’

Grillini concluded: ‘We are very happy for what Mr Barilla has said today. But we can not say that peace has come. We are still waiting for real pro-gay policies, even though today’s really serious talks are a very good starting point.’

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