January 17, 2017

Steve Carell, Paul Rudd tick off Chili’s with LeBron ESPY’s spoof


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Either somebody at Chili’s needs to add some more flair buttons to their outfit, or the corporate office of the restaurant chain has a good sense of humor.

The company responded “harshly” to a spoof “Dinner for Schmucks” stars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd performed during the 2010 ESPY awards presentation. Poking fun at the LeBron James/ESPN press conference, “The Decision,” Carell — a self-proclaimed Chili’s fan — shared his difficult decision to switch to a competing restaurant chain.

And now Chili’s “fans” are lashing out. Taking a page from Cleveland Cavaliers owner 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.

“Dinner for Schmucks,” meanwhile, will be in theaters on Friday, July 30.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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