A spokesperson for Chili’s Grill and Bar announced Sunday that Monday’s Give Back Event which would have benefited an anti-vaccine group has been cancelled. Below is the statement from Brinker International, the restaurant’s parent corporation.
Statement from Chili’s Grill & Bar
“Chili’s Grill & Bar is committed to giving back to the communities in which our guests live and work through local and national Give Back Events. While we remain committed to supporting the children and families affected by autism, we are canceling Monday’s Give Back Event based on the feedback we heard from our guests. We believe autism awareness continues to be an important cause to our guests and team members, and we will find another way to support this worthy effort in the future with again our sole intention being to help families affected by autism. At Chili’s, we want to make every guest feel special and we thank all of our loyal guests for your thoughtful questions and comments.”
The National Autism Association has responded with a curious mix of humility and non-apology.
Thank you to all of our supporters, and thank you to Chili’s for taking a chance on us. Though NAA has changed our mission and efforts in recent years to focus on autism safety, namely wandering prevention, controversial views about vaccines remained on our website. Because of guest feedback about these views, Chili’s has opted to cancel tomorrow’s event. We respect their decision and ask everyone to please speak words of love and kindness. NAA has evolved as our children’s needs have evolved. Our Big Red Safety Box Program very much helps protect children and adults with autism from wandering-related emergencies. We will continue to provide boxes as funding becomes available. Again, thank you for your support and your positive messages that represent our entire autism community.
? Please note: Chili’s leadership team has made the difficult decision to cancel Monday’s Give Back Event. Chili’s remains committed to supporting the children and families affected by autism and so this decision was not made lightly. As you know, Chili’s wants to make every Guest feel special and that includes listening to feedback from their Guests about this event.”