Steve Carell’s ESPYs ‘Decision’ Parody Draws Ire From Chili’s



DALLAS  (RestaurantNewsRelease.com)  Chili’s® Grill & Bar, renowned for serving fired up favorites, today fired up a shot instead of the grill.

During the 2010 ESPY awards presentation, actors Steve Carell and Paul Rudd spoofed last week’s LeBron James/ESPN press conference, “The Decision.” The three-minute skit featured Carell, a longtime Chili’s fan, sharing his difficult decision to switch to a competing restaurant chain.

Much like the citizens of Cleveland, Chili’s fans and ChiliHeads across the country have begun to express their displeasure of what the chain has proclaimed the ‘worst decision ever in the history of restaurant selection.’

Taking a page from Dan Gilbert’s playbook, Chili’s posted an open letter to fans on the brand’s Facebook page. It reads in part:

“You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal. You have given so much and deserve so much more.

I want to make one statement to you: I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT CHILI’S ENTREES WILL BE BOLDER AND TASTIER THAN THAT OF THE SELF-TITLED ‘STEAKHOUSE KING.’

You can take that to the smoker.

Steve Carell’s shameful display of selfishness and betrayal has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels. His heartless and callous actions will only fuel our constant search for freshness and flavor.”

Chili’s loyalists are encouraged to visit the brand’s official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chilis to read the letter in its entirety and share their personal views.

Chili’s Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili’s offers a fun, energetic atmosphere and a distinct, fresh mix of grilled American favorites at 1,499 locations in 30 countries and two territories. Brinker’s wholly-owned restaurant brands include Chili’s® Grill & Bar, and Maggiano’s Little Italy®. Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano’s Macaroni Grill®. Follow news about Chili’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chilis, @Chilis on Twitter and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/chilis.  For additional information, please visit www.chilis.com.