Barilla President Guido Barilla is being criticized for saying that gay people “can go eat someone else's pasta”

“We won't include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family,” Barilla said during a radio interview. “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.”

He later added: “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.”

Barilla's comments have provoked calls for a boycott of the family-owned Barilla pasta company, which has almost half the Italian pasta market, the UK's Independent reported.

The Parma-based company backtracked a bit in a statement released Thursday.

“I'm sorry if my comments on La Zanzara have created misunderstanding or polemic, or if I've offended anyone. In the interview I only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family,” Barilla said.