Clerks, Cop Out director Kevin Smith's 'too fat to fly' twitter rant against Southwest Airlines

Posted by andreaitis on February 14, 2010

There is no love lost this Valentine’s Day between director/writer and sometime actor Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines.   According to his rabid, blistering twitter rant,  Smith was kicked off a Southwest Air flight last night for being too wide for the skies. Smith has always been a larger-than-life character.  He shot his first film, Clerks, for a grand total of $27,575.   It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994 and went on to earn millions.   You may also know Smith from  Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  Today he’s not-so-silent Bob.

thatkevinsmith starts southwestair twitter rant 2-14-2010 8-51-03 AM

That started a string of twitter rage.   I de-tweeted it all into the following ‘graph:

Dear @SouthwestAir, I flew out in one seat, but right after issuing me a standby ticket, Oakland Southwest attendant Suzanne (wouldn’t give last name) told me Captain Leysath deemed me a “safety risk”. Again: I’m way fat… But I’m not THERE just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I’m seated WITH ARM RESTS DOWN. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who’d already I.d.ed me as “Silent Bob.” So, @SouthwestAir, go fuck yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no “safety risk” (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?).  I was wrongly ejected from the flight (even Suzanne eventually agreed). And fuck your apologetic $100 voucher, @SouthwestAir. Thank God I don’t embarrass easily (bless you, JERSEY GIRL training). But I don’t sulk off either: so everyday, some new fuck-you Tweets for @SouthwestAir.

Smith’s emphasis on ‘ARM RESTS DOWN’ is intentional.  Looking through Southwest Airlines’ Guidelines for Customers of Size, the arm rest plays a key role in determining whether a passenger is fit to fly.

Customers who are unable to lower both armrests and/or who compromise any portion of adjacent seating should proactively book the number of seats needed prior to travel. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats and measures 17 inches in width. This purchase serves as a notification of a special seating need and allows us to process a refund of the additional seating cost after travel (provided the flight doesn’t oversell). Most importantly, it ensures that all onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating.

In fact, there’s an entire Q&A about Customers of Size.  Just like the name, it’s all very politically correct.

Is the policy unique or new to Southwest Airlines?
No, other carriers have similar policies, but to the best of our knowledge, no other carrier offers a refund after travel. We’ve followed this policy for 29 of our 38 years of operation, but only became more vigilant regarding the additional purchase when we began seeing an increase in the number of valid complaints from passengers who traveled without full access to the seat purchased because a large Customer infringed upon the adjacent seating space.

Smith addressed this issue right from his seat on the plane:

kevin smith on southwest air arm rests  2-14-2010 9-51-42 AM

kevin smith on southwest air flight He even took a picture of himself and twitpic’d it out to the digital court of public opinion.  Piecing together what happened next from Smith’s tirade, it seems he was placed on another Southwest flight (after, I presume, a rousing discussion with Southwest officials and anyone else within earshot).  Kevin Smith was clearly not going to take this sitting down.  He spewed his unfiltered anger all over twitter, and it spread from there.  He had a point to make and he was going to make it.  Sitting in his second Southwest seat of the day, he twittered:

Dear @SouthwestAir, I’m on another one of your planes, safely seated & buckled-in again, waiting to be dragged off in front of the normies. And, hey? @SouthwestAir? I didn’t even need a seat belt extender to buckle up. Somehow, that shit fit over my “safety concern”-creating gut.

You have to admit, he does know how to play a scene.  I don’t doubt his anger is authentic, but the timing is also quite interesting.  Known for following his own path writing and directing offbeat movies, Smith recently directed a Hollywood formula buddy-cop movie starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan.  It’s the first film he’s directed that he has not written himself.  It happens to open in a couple of weeks, on February 26th.  As I said in my last post, timing is everything.  Let’s drag out another too-true cliche:  There’s no such thing as bad publicity.  I don’t doubt Kevin Smith was outraged and angered, but being (allegedly) discriminated against because you’re (allegedly) too fat certainly won’t hurt the promotional campaign for Cop Out.  It’ll totally help (no allegedly).

[youtubevid id=”IAqej4v6WCc”]

Kevin Smith finished his venomous tribute to Southwest Airlines with this:

kevin smith final twitter rant against southwest air 2-14-2010 10-01-09 AM

Classic.  A good director knows how to play a great scene and what to do with priceless material when it falls in your large lap.   Kevin Smith shows his talent even when he’s unhinged with rage.  Oh, and the absolute irony of this high-flying adventure?  The Valentine’s Day message up at the Southwest Airlines website:

southwest airlines v-day ad  2-14-2010 8-42-00 AM

Happy Valentine’s Day, Kevin Smith,  from the LUV Airline.


4 Responses to “Clerks, Cop Out director Kevin Smith's 'too fat to fly' twitter rant against Southwest Airlines”

  1. Susan Toepfer said

    This is wild! I love the airlnes’ lengthy paragraphs devoted to determining correct size for flying, and the notion of Smith being air-lifted out by Richard Simmons. Almost as entertaining as “Dogma”!

  2. andreaitis said

    Waiting for Kirstie Alley, Carnie Wilson and Oprah to come to his defense. Funniest thing is that Kevin Smith isn’t doing any msm interviews, he just blasted the whole story on his smodcast:

  3. I just can’t wait to see his next movie…!

  4. […] it was Kevin Smith in a blistering twitter tirade about having his chubby self chased off a Southwest Airlines flight because he was ‘too fat […]

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