Barilla gave attendees to the World Pasta Championship boxes of spaghetti with a lesbian couple on the front.
The company, who sponsor the event held in Italy, came under fire for comments made in 2013 against same-sex parents.
However, they appear to have turned over a new leaf. The company teamed with illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli to deliver new boxes depicting a same-sex couple on the front.
Keeping things LGBTI-friendly
But they haven’t always supported same-sex families. In 2013, chairman Guido Barilla remarked in a radio interview: ‘I would never do an ad with a homosexual family… if the gays don’t like it they can go and eat another brand.’
Despite an apology, this led to a mass boycott of the brand, including from illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli.
She wrote on Facebook: ‘The first time I met with the team at Barilla, I immediately addressed the infamous statements that came out in 2013 about gay couples.
‘I also told them that after that I was so disappointed that I stopped buying their products (not just pasta but flour, cookies, snacks…) for many years.
‘What I didn’t know was that while I was protesting in my kitchen, Barilla made significant progress radically redefining its Code of Ethics and adjusting its internal polices to ensure greater inclusion and enhance the respect for different sexual orientations, gender equality, rights of the disabled, and multicultural and intergenerational issues.’
In 2014, the company tried to make amends by releasing an advert depicting a gay teenager coming out to his mother.
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