PREACH IT! Kevin Smith continues to tweet fire at Southwest, may take his story to Larry King [poll]
The people who run Southwest Airlines seemed pretty pleased with themselves after their poorly explained treatment of director Kevin Smith this week. But Smith sure isn’t done -- and neither is the media.
Less than 48 hours after Smith was booted off of a Southwest flight (supposedly for being too plump, even though he fit well into his seat and there was a fatter guy on the same plane) the “Cop Out” director has become a hot commodity on the talk show circuit.
(Full disclosure: Smith is also a hot commodity with us. We at the Ministry have been trying to get an interview with him all day. No success.)
ABC, for one, has gotten aggressive. Per Smith, "Good Morning America” “show[ed] up at my house last night.” (We didn’t know the GMA people existed after sunset. That’s kind of cool. But we digress.)
Also, Larry King wants Smith badly. This morning, via the handle @kingsthings, the CNN talk show host tweeted that he wanted to interview Smith about the Southwest incident. Smith tweeted back, “I'm in L.A., you're in D.C. So please understand when I say this: I'm not going anywhere NEAR an airport again this week.”
King tweeted back, “Good news: I'm in LA, too. No need to go to airport. Would love for you to stop by tonite (sic) and we can talk.”
Smith’s response? “'kay. Thanks!”
That said, Smith’s appearance of choice may be “The Daily Show.” Yes, it’s in New York, but that’s only three days via Greyhound bus. Specifically, Smith has tweeted a challenge to Southwest: The airline would bring its seats to Jon Stewart’s set. If Smith sits in them with ease, the airline must re-train its staff and, per Smith, “admit you lied.”
As for the airline, its cold, tin heart will go on. Despite Southwest’s apparently inconsistent applications of its policy, its smug blog treatment of the incident (“Not So Silent Bob"? Really?) and its blithe disclosure of a regular customer’s travel preferences, industry experts have applauded the company for its handling of Smith.
“This shouldn't have a lasting impact on Southwest's business, just because they handled the issue swiftly,” aviation branding expert Shashank Nigam, of the company Simpliflying, tells the Ministry. “Southwest Airlines is a brand that can withstand such minor blips like Kevin Smith.”
Probably, but until Southwest can explain things a little more clearly, some of us here at the Ministry will be steering clear of the airline -- at least until it explains why that fatter guy was still on Smith's flight when it took off.
-- Leslie Gornstein
Photo: Kevin Smith poses at home for portraits in October 2008, shortly before "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" hit theaters. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
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