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Ongoing: Kevin Smith Vs. Southwest Airlines
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Tom Cheredar   |  
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Kevin Smith on Southwest AirlinesBy now you’ve probably heard about the super intense epic battle between filmmaker Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines that occurred Saturday night — at least I’m assuming you’ve heard about it since it was covered on Good Morning America.

If you haven’t heard about it yet and loath morning news (as I do), then the short version is that Smith decided to live-Tweet his experience of being kicked off a Southwest flight for “being too fat.” Smith said he was already seated on the flight with armrests down and seatbelt fastened (and he made a point to say with no seatbelt extender necessary) when he was told that the captain deemed him a “safety risk” because of his weight and he was ejected from the flight.

Since Smith’s first tweet regarding the incident, he’s responded to numerous queries from his followers on whether he typically buys two seats on no-class flight (sometimes, but always voluntarily) and if the director plans to sue the airline (no), and has continued to express his outrage by SWA’s treatment of him. SWA issued a statement on their blog Not So Silent Bob with their reaction to the incident where they issued their “heartfelt apologies” to Smith and then went on to disclose his personal information, such as “Smith originally purchased two Southwest seats on a flight from Oakland to Burbank – as he’s been known to do when traveling on Southwest.” The airline also admitted that their pilots “made the determination that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight.”

By tonight every major broadcast news organization will have at least mentioned the incident and given it about as much attention as the Mel Gibson cursing at a reporter story, while the majority of geeks will overwhelmingly side with Smith.

Most people assume the moral of this incident (if there is such a moral) is not to mess with anyone who has a large hardcore fan base of followers. But I don’t think this applies here. I’d expect Smith’s reaction to be no different if he had 500 followers instead of 1,656,658 because it was a justified response.

And it’s the same reaction I’d have if a company did something appalling like that to me. I’d tell my friends and sometimes even write a story about it because I’m a journalist and can go that extra step. However, I’d also do it because don’t want people to get burned and/or I want to legitimize the feelings of anyone else who has been burned before me.

So remember that as you hear the regurgitated talking points of the “Not So Silent Bob/Southwest Fallout” on seemingly credible broadcast news programs tonight.

Image at top of from Smith’s TwicPic account.

5 Comments »

  1. This almost seems set up, for a number of reasons. Kevin Smith is not that fat, I’ve seen fatter people than he on flights before, in one seat, with no problems.
    But with Kevin Smith’s new film coming out soon, and suddenly all this attention on him, it seems as though it’s a publicity stunt.
    Of course, I side with Smith, it’s ridiculous to kick someone off of a flight for being “too fat.” That doesn’t mean that this is not planned, is all I’m saying.

    Comment by Guy — February 15, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  2. First off Kev Smith is not that fat. I understand and agree with a Southwest Airlines policy that forces fat people to buy an extra set for the comfort of the other passengers(I weigh about 265 for the record) but what’s more confusing is they say it for passenger safety, what’s the safety risk? I guess they could be worried about a fat dude blocking the way in the in the event of a plan crash but if that’s the case would they also eject somebody who’s too tall or uncoordinated, what about people in wheel chairs or the mentally handy caped wouldn’t they be just as much if not more of safety risk?

    Comment by sideshowRaheem — February 15, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

  3. @Guy
    1) I highly doubt SWA would ruin their reputation just to help Smith with a publicity stunt for his new movie (he didn’t nothing to get thrown off the plane, so you are assuming SWA is in on a stunt; 2) most people don’t even know that Smith is affiliated with Cop Out and most stories aren’t even mentioning the movie; and 3) Smith doesn’t have to stoop to stunts like this.

    @sideshowRaheem
    Yeah, I don’t know what this “safety” shit is all about. Let me tell you, on my cross-country flight this Saturday a very think man put his leg onto my side of the floor and took up my armrest, meanwhile, his wife was on the other side of him. Dude, take up your wife’s space, or at least go lean on her! So, yeah, I don’t see how they are protecting anyone else by kicking Kevin Smith off the plane.

    Comment by Empress Eve — February 15, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

  4. Yeah, Smith was pretty pissed, check out his SMODCAST #106 for the complete rant available at Itunes. He’s not sure if it was a personal thing or not but as he was leaving he made eye contact with a guy who was WAYYY bigger than him and this dude wasn’t asked to leave. So don’t think it was to promote the film just coincidence. I do disagree with Smith on one thing though, he says that the average American is his size or bigger. I have to say bullsh*t on that one.

    Comment by Harkonen — February 16, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  5. Hey here is a great idea , stop eating the corn syrup and aspartame , and Sickdonalds , and all the other poison GMO in the stores and fast food eugenics tents.  That would be a start to one seat on a plane.  I mean how fat has this country become that we have to buy an extra seat on a plane.  I sat in the middle of two fat pigs on the way to Denver last week and it was a nightmare. Just have a vegetable every once and a while people.  Vitamin water is not full of vitamins, diet Coke does not make you skinny.  I could go on forever. 

    Comment by Ryan Shellnutt — August 23, 2011 @ 1:13 am

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