As Barilla opens a new restaurant in South LA, the company takes stock of its journey on LGBT+ rights

In 2013, Guido Barilla told a radio station that his company would never feature LGBT+ people in its ads.

The resulting outcry, including the #boicottbarilla campaign, triggered significant negative brand impacts for the company – and, ultimately, corporate soul-searching.

Since then the company has appointed a Diversity & Inclusion Board, aired an ad showing a gay son coming out to his parents, and earned a perfect score several years in a row on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

Barilla’s head of Diversity & Inclusion Kristen Anderson even has direct access to the company’s CEO. Although reputations can be hard to repair, USC LGBT+ activists’ response to Barilla’s new restaurant on campus has been muted – a sign, perhaps, of progress.

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