As a junior in college sitting in my Business Ethics class, I remember at the time not being able to relate to the subject as well as my peers. In my eyes, it was another class, another two hours in my day, another requirement. It was the equivalent of what most people ask about math, “When am I going to use this in the real world?” Well, as naive as I was then, that’s exactly what I believed. Surprisingly enough, business ethics has come up in my life repeatedly within the last year. It is a factor that I consider when I’m blogging and reading the news. It is something that I reflect on when I choose the companies I want to work with and collaborate with.
It reminds me of the advice that Connie Wang had mentioned in her video below several posts down – know your brands, know who you’re wearing and where your clothes are coming from and whether or not you support that. I’m not an outright activist by any means, but when it comes to the lifestyle I live and the brands that I support, it is definitely something that I have started to consider over the years. The reason why I am bringing up this topic today is because news broke out that the pasta brand Barilla is basically…homophobic. Today, the company’s chairman Guido Barilla said that they were never going to include gay people in their advertisements.
“We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family. 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.”
I was shocked and disappointed by Barilla’s statement and I’m not afraid to say that I find it in poor taste. #kindofpunintended. I don’t know if anyone has ever expected pasta brands to support gay rights and feature gay people in their advertisements. Was there a shift at some point? Whatever the case, why did Guido Barilla feel the need to make such a bold statement like this?
In short, the whole story is a huge mess. Guido somewhat retracted his statement, but I don’t think it’s good enough for anyone. You can read the rest of the article here, but for now we’re done with this post. I’ve been eating Barilla pasta since college, but special thanks to Guido for now letting me know that I have other options.