Barilla Hopes Its New Diversity Board Will Make Everyone Forget Exec’s Anti-Gay Comments

Italian pasta producer Barilla is still busy smoothing things over after its president made waves in September by saying the company would never feature families with gay people in its ads. It’s whipped a brand new “diversity and inclusion board” so it can figure out how to not tick its customers off with anti-gay comments.

The company says the board will involve experts and advocates who can help the company “establish concrete goals and strategies for improving diversity and equality in the company’s workforce and culture,” reports CNNMoney. This will include David Mixner, a well-known gay rights advocate.

The company also has a new chief diversity officer, the first person to hold such a post at the company, and it’s pledged to participate in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which ranks companies based on how friendly their policies are to LGBT employees.

Back in September, Barilla President Guido Barilla said during a radio interview that he’d never feature same-sex couples in his pasta commercials because he’d rather focus on a “traditional family.” Those comments drew fire from customers and LGBT groups, who called for a boycott on its pasta products.

Since then Barilla (the person) has apologized many times, saying he was just all about women being in families.

“As a socially responsible company that serves and respects diverse consumers, we know we have to expand our commitment,” a Barilla spokesman said in a statement. “Our goal is to do better by becoming a global corporate citizen and leader in diversity and inclusion, internally and externally.”

Barilla launches diversity board after exec’s anti-gay remarks [CNNMoney]