TIME Italy

In Country’s First Gay-Friendly Ad, Son Comes Out Over Pasta in Italy

This is believed to be the first gay friendly campaign in a country that is often entrenched in homophobia

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Coming out over pasta might be fairly common in Italian homes, but for what is believed to be the first time, an ad will be portraying the family event across Italian televisions.

Findus, a frozen food company, produced what is believed to be the first gay-friendly ad in the European country.

In the commercial — in which no faces are shown — a man named Luca and his mother bond over microwaved pasta cooked by Luca’s boyfriend.

“Mom, there is another small surprise,” says Luca in the ad. Is it the risotto cooked in the microwave, wonders the mother. “Gianni isn’t just my roommate, he’s my boyfriend!” quips the son.

The ad comes nine months after the chairman of Italian pasta maker Barilla came under fire for saying that he would never use a gay family in his ads. The company eventually announced a “more inclusive” initiative to “establish a more active, global leadership on diversity,” including hiring a “chief diversity officer.”

Gay activists in Europe praised the video for showcasing the simplicity and the daily life of a gay couple. “It’s a positive step forward when different types of families are portrayed in ads, as they resonate with parts of society that are usually marginalized,” said Juris Lavrikovs, the communications manager of ILGA, Europe’s International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association.

 

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