Chili’s cancels its support-the-anti-vaxers night

April 6, 2014 • 2:43 pm

As noted below, the restaurant chain Chili’s was going to donate 10% of its dining receipts on Monday (tomorrow) to the National Autism Association, a group that touts vaccination as a cause of autism. That connection has been totally discredited, and I suppose Chili’s heard from a number of people about this. They have, as a commenter noted in the original post, cancelled their “give-back” night. Here’s the tw**t:

Screen shot 2014-04-06 at 4.38.24 PM

 

People can make a difference, and that NAA will not only lose the money it would have made, but has now garnered a ton of unfavorable publicity.  Good for Chili’s. It’s a pity that they didn’t send an even stronger message by turning that evening into a fund-raiser for one of the reputable anti-autism organizations.

33 thoughts on “Chili’s cancels its support-the-anti-vaxers night

  1. Well, it still won’t get me to go eat at one, but at least I don’t have to worry about remembering to veto them as a lunch meeting place….

    b&

    1. Well, it still won’t get me to go eat at one,

      You’re not tempted to dabble in Icelandic cuisine? (I note the “.is” TLD.) All the rotted shark and fluoridated mutton not appeal? Whale blubber burgers?

        1. Some of these foodstuffs (the Swedes have some too, IIRC) verge on the weapons of mass destruction.
          Do you have no curiosity in your … ummm … footwear?

  2. “It’s a pity that they didn’t send an even stronger message by turning that evening into a fund-raiser for one of the reputable anti-autism organizations.”

    I’d guess that they don’t feel like they can vet a second choice before tomorrow and that they are now gun shy about getting a second black eye.

    1. I agree that that’s probably what was going through their management’s minds. But I hope they do ‘give back’ events in the future, with better vetted charities.

  3. This is very encouraging! I’m surprised they canceled this, I thought maybe their CEO or one of their top bosses was an anti-vaccine nutcase, but it looks like this may have been more of an oversight. It seems just enough pressure from the medical community, and pro-science people was enough to get them to change their mind.

    It’s hard to tell really, but this is a small victory for science. But I still won’t eat there.

  4. New Chili’s jingle:

    We’re taking our silly offer back
    offer back
    offer back
    offer back
    offer back
    offer back
    offer back

    1. Yes, good news is uplifting. I wonder how many ‘Autism’ groups there are, and whether this one is the main one?

      It’s amazing in our wonderful scientific age, that people want to believe bs. So many causes out there that require energy, and they choose to take on science! I understand their psychology theoretically, however am constantly alarmed.

  5. That Chili’s decisively canceled an advertised charity event at the 11th hour due to an unforeseen response from an enlightened segment of society is encouraging.

  6. This is good news, and, even gooder, not all that surprising. Activists for the preservation of infectious diseases are becoming more and more marginalized. Like racists and homophobes, they’ll always be with us, but they are rapidly losing their public forum.

  7. I don’t remember that I’ve ever been to Chili’s. Does this turn of events mean I should now go, in order to show support for their decision to back away from the anti-vaxers?

    1. Only if you like caramelized salt drenched in salted syrup.

      To be fair, for what the food is, it’s as good as any of that style. But be sure to bring your insulin and digitalis.

      Cheers,

      b&

  8. I suspect there might be legal ramifications of swapping charitable organizations at the last minute. If you publicize that some portion of the funds goes to X charity on a given date, but then switch to charity Y, you will invariably have a large number of people thinking they are supporting X, but are supporting Y under false pretenses. You then also are opening yourself up to a lawsuit from X because you have used their name to encourage customers to come to your store, but then swapped at the last minute. Whether or not it’s sad that it needs to be this way is debateable, but I think it was probably wiser from a business standpoint to just cancel the whole thing. They can always schedule another date with charity Y if they want.

  9. I occasionally eat lunch at Chilis with colleagues and I was going to stop going after reading the earlier article. Now I can keep on going there. Kudos to Chilis for doing the right thing and so quickly.

  10. Awesome wording on this one… Good for Chili’s. It’s a pity that they didn’t send an even stronger message by turning that evening into a fund-raiser for one of the reputable anti-autism organizations.

    ***ANTI-AUTISM*** Really?? That’s the wording we’re going for here?? Not Autism Awareness or Autism Acceptance, but ANTI-Autism…way to spread a misconception.

  11. Which are reputable autism organizations?

    It’s a serious question. I’m in the position of doing fund-raising work and such, and would like to know what direction to go.

    Thanks.

    1. The previous post on WEIT on this topic “Don’t go to Chili’s tomorrow”, quotes io9 (where the story broke) thusly:
      “Looking for another way to donate to autism research? Consider contributing to the Autism Science Foundation or the Wendy Klag Center at Johns Hopkins.”

  12. Wow…why cancel the entire event? I am a Realtor for Century 21 and we hold events for charity with the funds going right to Easter Seals which is supportive of Autism and it’s treatment.

    1. John: The event was created for a specific autism organization that gives parents BAD information. Like “vaccines harm kids and cause autism”.

      I’m sure Chili’s ‘heart’ was in the right place and it will probably support autism research — just as soon as they can find out who the GOOD players are. In the interim, canceling an event that has the potential to do actual harm to children seems pretty wise to me.

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