Barilla chairman Guido Barilla said in an interview that his company would "never do [an ad] with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them."
Barilla continued to say that their ads focused on the "traditional" family and, "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."
Well, Barilla's comments bothered the LGBT community, its allies and the Internet.
Many called for a boycott. Chrissy Teigen tweeted (because of course Chrissy Teigen tweeted), "Barilla has a right to believe whatever they want. And I have the right to boycott them or fully fund a gay porn made in a tub of linguine."
Memes immediately began popping up, promoting a new Barilla noodle (Bigotoni—get it?) and suggesting Barilla is the official brand of choice for Putin, whose anti-gay policies in Russia have drawn a call for a boycott of the upcoming winter Olympics.
Many people have happily taken Barilla up on their offer to switch pasta brands.
And have posted pictures of the various ways they've rid themselves of whatever Barilla they already owner. "F--k you #barilla. This ‘classic family' doesn't need your BS," one wrote. "Also, why did we have so much pasta?"
Meanwhile, oher pasta companies have been like, "Uh, we're not with that guy!" Bertolli posted the below photo on Facebook, captioned "Pasta and love for all!"
Bertolli has been an LGBT ally for years. They featured a gay couple in a 2009 commercial.
Garofola: "We don't care with whom you cook pasta, the important thing is that you cook it al dente!"
San Remo: "We are all family here. The love of pasta is equal."
Barilla's US branch has since tweeted, "While we cannot undo words that have been said, we can apologize. To all of those that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry."
They continued, on Facebook, "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...To all of our friends, family, employees, and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry."
In the same interview, Guido Barilla said that he does support gay marriage, which is not legal in Italy, because "it's about two people who want to get married," but said he "absolutely" does not support adoption to gay couples, because "it's about a person who's not the one who decides about it."
Following the controversy, Barilla posted on the company's Italian Facebook: "With reference to my statements, I apologize if my words have generated misunderstandings...and if they have bumped the sensitivity of certain people."
"For clarity, I wish to point out that I have the deepest respect for any person, without any distinction.
I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and for freedom of expression for everyone.
I have also said and I repeat that I respect those marriages between persons of the same sex.
Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of welcome and of suffering for all."
Which translates to: Not really an apology.