Sigh . . . I’m not really ignoring the latest installment of Pastagate, this time set in Italy. I’ve been keeping an eye on developments, with some amusement. (The first installment of Pastagate was set in Quebec when the French language watchdogs here took exception to a restaurant’s menu, and the ensuing comedy/drama played to an international audience.)
Quick recap: Chairman Guide Barilla of pasta company Barilla puts foot in mouth by saying publicly that he wouldn’t use a gay couple in advertisements for his company’s products and many in the LGBT community and supporters are offended to the point of calling for a boycott of the company’s products, despite the fact the chairman apologized. And the media, as ever, are only too happy to jump all over the story . . . Such a tangled spaghetti western, yes?
Actually, not really. I mean, this “news” story, such as it is, hardly compares to the oppression and persecution of LGBT people in places like Russia, Uganda, Cameroon, Iran and, yes, even some American states. It’s a comment by one guy who might — or might not — be homophobic. Or he could have just been stating a simple business principle, i.e. that he feels “traditional families” in Barilla advertisements are the best vehicles for selling his products.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Barilla decides to make amends by producing an ad with same-sex couples.
I do think, though, that we who support the LGBT community should be more forgiving, especially since the chairman apologized.
Meanwhile, we should be boycotting products from countries that persecute LGBT people. We should also be asking investors in our countries to stop investing in those oppressive nations. And our entertainers — like Elton John — should set an example by refusing to perform in oppressive nations.