This has been a bad, bad week for Italian public relations. On the heels of Melissa Gorga’s horrifying claims in her book, Love Italian Style, that emotional abuse and marital rape = “just being Italian LOL!”, Guido Barilla, the chairman of Barilla Pasta, went on the record yesterday in an Italian newspaper with some good ol’ fashioned homophobia:
“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.”
Just FYI, Barilla, that does bother a lot of people. It bothers me enough that I will not be purchasing your brand of pasta again, and thousands of other people have had the same response: a massive boycott is currently being organized by politicians and LGBT activists in Italy and around the globe. The president of Equality Italia summed it up just perfectly: “We accept [Barilla's] invitation to not eat his pasta.” I hope De Cecco is ready for an influx of new customers who don’t appreciate anti-gay undertones in their fusilli. [Buzzfeed]
On last night’s episode of “Big Brother,” 22-year-old Aaryn Gries was given the boot by her fellow houseguests and, as is customary, sat down for her live post-show interview with host Julie Chen. Over the past two-and-a-half months, Aryan Aaryn, as she’s jokingly been called online, has said a number of offensive and ignorant things about people of other races, all of which were caught on tape by the show’s 24/7 live feeds. She’s not the only one — almost half of the initial 16 houseguests have said one or more highly questionable things about race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Under pressure from viewers to show what was really going on in the house, CBS finally made a point of addressing offensive statements in their edited episodes, with Aaryn’s remarks receiving the vast majority of the attention. So, when Aaryn emerged out the front door, to a subtle chorus of audience boos, and sat down next to Julie Chen, I expected that the topic would be addressed, but only briefly as Aaryn is now a member of the “Big Brother” jury and will continue to be sequestered from the outside world until the season has come to an end. That usually means continuing to be kept in the dark about what’s going on outside the house — including how she’s being perceived.
But I was wrong. Chen went there last night, actually reading some of Aaryn’s worst remarks aloud. Aaryn — who, in fairness, was not completely clueless that she was being seen as racist — was flustered, saying she didn’t remember saying those things. She initially made excuses about being from Texas and not meaning the things she said and blah blah blah. The audience laughed at her over and over. Aaryn teared up and looked utterly crushed. It was awful. And awkward. I was uncomfortable. Keep reading »
Chris Christie may not have done much bill-signing on Friday, but the same can’t be said for today. The AP reports that the governor is set to sign a bill that will prevent licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teens straight. New Jersey will join California as the second state to outlaw “gay conversion therapy.” Christie has already signed a note that will accompany the bill; in it, he cites his own belief that people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. Read more on Newser…
It’s safe to say that Netflix’s latest original series, “Orange is the New Black,” is nothing short of binge-worthy. I devoured the entire first season in under 96 hours (seriously). Groundbreaking on many levels, the show openly displays queer female sexuality and features a uniquely complex portrayal of a black transgender woman (played by the brilliant black trans actress Laverne Cox). What’s more, the vibrant cast of diverse characters offers viewers a rare exploration of what privilege is and how it works. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the show’s main character, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a perfect lesson in privilege.
I can’t stand Piper. I find her whiny, entitled, possessive, incredibly self-obsessed, an emblem of unchecked privilege. But I actually think that’s intentional; Piper would be the character we all root for, when in reality, she seems to be one of the least liked. As Salamishah Tillet noted over at The Nation, the main character of “Orange” probably had to be white and college-educated for the show (and memoir upon which it’s based) to get picked up, and this is a valid point. But with Piper, we’re also forced to come face to face with her privilege, and we can’t stand what we see. [Spoilers after the jump!] Keep reading »
Sandy Rios is both an American Family Association talk show host and a Fox News contributor, so naturally when she spoke with anti-gay Chicago pastor, Erwin Lutzer, some pretty offensive words were exchanged.
The two both oppose same-sex marriage and use the bogus argument that homosexuality is like pedophilia in that even though there is “love” in these relationships, the people involved should not be able to get married. According to Right Wing Watch, Lutzer said, “A pedophile I’m sure says that he loves children — as a matter of fact, he does — but you can see how destructive that love is.” That comparison is nothing new in the anti-gay argument, but Sandy Rios then went on to make a new and uniquely offensive comparison. Keep reading »