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PREACH IT! Kevin Smith continues to tweet fire at Southwest, may take his story to Larry King [poll]

Kevin smith 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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Comments () | Archives (87)

"Admit you lied." Southwest blamed "air traffic delays" for a 2 hour delay on a flight from San Diego to San Francisco I was on in December. The TRUTH was they took the crew and re-assigned them to another flight. They lied to me too! And then offered me a $100 voucher after I complained. I don't want their voucher; what I want is Southwest to stop lying!

So now only fit people deserve the right to dignity, equality and self-worth? Are all of you stupid? Overweight people are still people. Hypocrites.

Wow-Yes it's true that Americans are getting bigger and fatter but don't slam the US in your comment, Sune Slips. Anyone who slams the US while living in the country is about as pathetic as Kevin Smith and his inability to put down his fork! He's fat (and his movies suck by the way). Buy a second ticket or hit the gym like I do and take care of yourself. I fly A LOT and have been through it all-screaming babies, snoring people, idiots who refuse to stop texting right up until take off, people with BO or bad cologne that they think covers said BO...but being crammed into a seat next to Chubb Rock for hours on end is insane and insulting. As Nancy Reagan used to preach "Just Say No" to the bacon, Cheetos and McDonalds!

Yikes, how strange to actually side with an airline on something. The airline was right and this "poll" was probably hijacked by fake voting on behalf of that whiny moron. Totally agreed with comment below that Kevin Smith's mouth should be washed out. He might have more credibility if he spoke like a coherent mature grown up instead of spewing profanity and throwing a childish tantrum. Now he's gonna do the typical media tour and everyone has to hear about this non-story for the next week or two as the media gloms on. It's really unfortunate that those in the public eye can use the media for their own purposes, and that their experiences are seen as more meaningful. Kevin Smith knew he was supposed to have two seats. Lose weight and stop wasting everyone's time. You might be in control on a movie set, but it's the captain's call on an airplane. Hopefully the airline stands firm and isn't bullied by yet another self-absorbed celebrity used to getting his way. What a loser.

Good for you SWA.

Whatever they call it Im glad I didnt have to sit next to him. Im sure his witty conversation and celebrity would have taken the edge off of him sitting in my seat with me but I really would rather SW argue with him and not make me suffer through a flight as his seat mate.
LET HIM CRY AND SCREAM LIKE THE OVERWEIGHT 5 YEAR OLD HE IS. That kind of thing is funny on film!!!! Not next to you on a long flight.

A lot of you are failing to note that he did in fact buy two seats beforehand.

To all those who are spouting the Dr. Phil nonsense that people are fat because they choose to be fat, or believe anything more than anorexic is disgusting, I have one thing to say: Get Real. Americans are not the only ones that are overweight. By normal standards, Kevin Smith is not fat. The sad fact is that in order to make more money, airlines, movie theaters and any other public service have decreased the amount of room available for customers and charged more for this space.

Now, if your backside is smaller than 17" (the size given as SWA seat size), then bully for you! I would find it a bit snug myself. However, even being over the "normal" weight limit, I'm in better condition than most of the scrawny little people I've had to work with. Not only have I had more stamina, but more strength as well.

So for all you out there claiming that the only way to be healthy is to be scrawny, I dare you to say it to my face. I'd love to prove you wrong.

He was not kicked off the plane....He was rolled off...And only then when he could not be lured off with a slab of beef...

I guess you've never had to sit next to a giant fattie on a plane before. Not a pleasant experience.
The airlines should enforce the fattie rule more often. I paid my money and I deserve to not have my sardine can sized space invaded by a morbidly obese person.

Did they have the right to remove him? Lets look at the facts, the complaint is safety violation. Was he so fat the plane would fly in circles? NO! SO they had no right to kick him off. Now all you that complain about obeisance being a flight safety risk your not using your noggin.

Is it irritating when a fat guy sits next to you? YES absolutely, but the fact most of you are saying fat people have less rights makes you terrible people. And NO im not fat and YES i've sat next to an enormous man for 12 hours on a plane from the east to the west, unpleasant.

Question: Would we be having this dialogue if it were Orson Wells? That's to say, if it were a universally esteemed heavyset person, I believe it would have been a non-issue from the get go. . . However because the issue involved someone with a lot of detractors, a lot of cruel things are being said . . .

update from SWA:
Linda Rutherford (a Vice President for communications) from SWA calls Kevin and apologizes. Read about it here:


For someone who flies a lot (60K miles a year), I feel for the person who is asked to leave for his/ her size but I have frequently been made uncomfortable because the larger person seated next to me oozes into my seat and I have to take a 4 hour flight leaning to one side. What are the "rights" of the larger person's neighbors? KS bought 2 seats on a previous flight because he was probably aware that he doesn't fit into one seat. Don't be so "outraged" if you know it is a problem.

However, SW citing "safety concerns" is BS. They are doing it as a customer service which is appreciated. Call a spade a spade.

He is creating this so-called firestorm to put his name in the news which will help promote his new flick that probably sucks anyway! Dude pass on the second helpings and walk a bit as that will help you fight that fat fat fat butt/gut you have! At some point it will be survival of the fittest and dude you wont make it! A blessing for movie goers maybe but i'm sure the family will miss you! Call dr. phil he might be able to help you!
Shame on southwest for apologizing!!!!! People need to stop apologizing! The pc crap is killing this country! Right John mayer??????

I am with the NAAFA on this issue. Fat people should boycott SWA in favor of airlines that are more tolerant. This will mean less fat people on SWA flights. :)

One more good reason not to Twitter or watch mindless movies aimed at the 18-24 crowd.

I can help this pusillanimous porker.

Kevin Smith is not a victim. He is an overweight guy who should have bought two tickets on his flight. Otherwise he should have waited for another flight. Now he is throwing a tantrum via twitter. Stop enabling the guy.

Just lay off the carbs....Monkey boy

(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.) Why??? because he is to fat to sit in one seat on an airplane and was asked to get of said plane? Yall are funny.

Have this fat slob buy all 3 seats. Then you won't have some poor schnook trying to crawl out from around him in case of an emergency, or worse yet, have to enure his fat sagging over into someone elses seat.

thats ok....have another donut and a cigarette....Chris Farley is waiting to say "Hi"

I am 5'7 and 145 LBS. I am in shape and fit. On my last trip i got stuck between 2 very large people on the plane. The guy on my right's fat roll oozed over between us and the lady next to me on the other side took up more than her share of the room. I couldn't put either armrest down, and my tray table wouldn't go down either. So my flight was miserable. This was a United flight. Kudos to Southwest Airlines for not making it okay to inconvenience the other customers. When are we going to realize, it is not okay to be obese. It is not okay for your children to be obese.

On the other hand, this was not an instance of a passenger trying to skirt the system. He already bought two seats and the ticketing agent should have seen that instead of putting him in one and then throwing him off the plane. Southwest shouldn't have ever put him on the standby flight. If i was him i would feel humiliated and i would be pissed too. In this aspect i feel bad for the guy.

OF course if i was him i wouldn't have that problem because i would never let myself be that large anyway.

Obese (not just fat) people affect the rest of us in insurance costs, space availabilty, and speed of their movement. They should pay accordingly -- maybe that'll be enough incentive to do what it takes to lose the weight. If not, that's their choice and they can pay the price.

Kevin Smith is Fat and whoever thinks this pile of crap is a normal individual needs to see a physician. He is fat, so blame the airline. They obviously made him fat.

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