The chairman of Italian pasta brand Barilla inspired international outrage and calls for a worldwide boycott last week when he said that his company would never feature a gay couple in its ads because the Barilla family is a "traditional" one. If gay people didn't like his politics, Guido Barilla said, they could "eat someone else's pasta."
Scores of LGBT people and our allies around the world did just that, pledging to boycott Barilla in favor of more equality-minded pasta brands, despite Barilla's repeated attempts at an apology. And comedians Lewis Black and Conan O'Brien took to the airwaves to blast Barilla's bigotry.
As Black pointed out on a recent episode of The Daily Show, Barilla's misstep proved an open opportunity for nearly every other pasta brand to express its support for LGBT people, using a variety of pasta noodles in gay and pro-equality positions.
"There's more than one brand of dried beige noodles in a box? Who knew?" asks Black, facetiously. "And now all of them are battling it out to be the world's gayest pasta, including San Remo, who proudly proclaim that 'we are all family here.' And I for one, will definitely be buying San Remo pasta next time I get a craving for Skittles-flavored vagina shells!"
Conan O'Brien also took a bite out of the Barilla controversy with a spoof ad for Toleranza di Napoli, a pasta for everyone.
"Some pastas are straight," reads the narrator in the fictional ad on a recent episode of Conan. "Some are not straight. It's how they come out of the box. At Toleranza di Napoli, we know this. We make open-minded pastas — we use straight wheat and gay wheat."
Watch the Daily Show and Conan segments below.