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Barilla Pasta Starts Diversity Initiative In Response To Anti-Gay Controversy

"We are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do."

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Barilla Pasta prompted a boycott last month when the chairman of the brand declared that he refused to include gay people in his ads.

Guido Barilla later apologized with a video, and Barilla USA apologized on Twitter.
Tony Gentile / Reuters

Guido Barilla later apologized with a video, and Barilla USA apologized on Twitter.

In response to the outcry, Barilla has announced a new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

Tony Gentile / Reuters

The initiative introduces a Diversity and Inclusion Board, a Chief Diversity Officer, and participation in the Corporate Equality Index.

The announcement included this quote from the CEO of the company, Claudio Colzani. “Diversity, inclusion and equality have long been grounded in Barilla’s culture, values and code of conduct. They are reflected in our policies and the benefits we provide to all employees, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. At the same time, we are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do.”
Alessandro Garofalo / Reuters

The announcement included this quote from the CEO of the company, Claudio Colzani. “Diversity, inclusion and equality have long been grounded in Barilla’s culture, values and code of conduct. They are reflected in our policies and the benefits we provide to all employees, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. At the same time, we are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do.”

In addition to these steps, Barilla will hold an online contest in 2014 that is centered in diversity.

Entrants will be asked to create short videos that represent the multifaceted nature of pasta, which will be submitted to the web community to be liked, shared and voted. The videos will be then judged by an expert panel and the winners will receive awards.

We'll be watching you, Barilla.

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You'd better not mess up. Again.

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