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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)

I recently sat next to someone in the movie theater who was 'oozing over' into my seat and enveloped both armrests. At their size, they should purchase two seats or go to a theater where the armrests raise and take up the two-seat space. Same principle applies with airline seating.

My understanding is that Kevin Smith DID pay for two seats, but when he tried to fly Standby on an earlier flight, only one seat was available.

If he buys two seats, he knows he is too large for one seat. He shouldn't then express outrage for being booted when only one seat is available.

He bought two tickets so all this hatred is typical of losers who can't read anymore in this country. Fat or not, SWA handled it poorly.

I don't love extremely obese folks either but how come when some skinny guy sits next to me they elbow me out of my space, fall asleep and hog space and the jerk in front of me has to lower his seat fully?

So basically, make it so seats cannot be reclined either. It's obnoxious to lower your seats on a 2 hour flight. I don't lower mine solely out of respect for the guy behind me. Maybe it would also be nice to ask the non-fatsos to not sleep in my area of the seat either. Hate on rudeness, not the size or look of someone, okay?

Just because he makes entertaining films doesn't make him a God. Stop elevating celebrities to, er, celebrity status. The guy is so fat he's cartoonish.

Smith, seriously, your head is out of proportion with your body. There's fat and then there is a category that you're inside. From what you said last time it was an at-will standby ticket in the first place instead of your usual two seats on reservation. Air planes are cramped enough as it is, get yourself a bus and travel two by land instead of by air.

Sitting next to or between obese people with no chance to change seats is not a pleasant experience. They encroach on 1/4 of your seat until they fall asleep, then they get 1/2 of it. Even if they can jam themselves into a seat, they still hang over into the adjacent person's seat.They should be required to buy two seats or go first class.

I have taken many a flight when my seat mate was more than the equivalent of one passenger! Sometimes the flight duration was only about an hour that I had to endure their blubber hanging over the armrest between us. Other times were flights of much longer duration, and resulted in near claustrophobia and possible suffocation! Yes, a bit a sarcasm there, but honestly, just a bit....

I do realize there are certain individuals who have a "disorder", and I'm sorry for their plight. Nonetheless, they need to do, as say, a professional musician does, when they don't want to risk damage to their valuable musical instrument... BUY A SECOND SEAT!

As for the rest of the overweight population, which can't resist that fifth helping of ten strips of bacon and five pancakes at the "breakfast bar" of their local house of gluttony... BUY A SECOND SEAT!!!

And puh-leese, keep your blubber on your side of the armrest....

Thank you!

Airlines these days are mean ..
Do they give discount to a thin or small people or childrens ?.. for kid above age of 3 ..they eat full fair..don't care !!!

People will be okay with this policy if they are willing to accept and give discount to small,thin,kids etc

else its a opputinity for them to charge more money
this is discrimination ..

Went to the airport
I changed my flight
I weigh 300 pounds
But I know my rights

But the pilot's a fascist
He said "Buddy, goodbye"
Now I'm rolling up the jetway
Too fat to fly

Too fat to fly
Too fat to fly
Too fat to fly
Too fat, too fat, too fat
To fly.

Well I don't mind peanuts
I can check bags free
And I'll buy an extra seat
For my sweet Sara Lee

But on that flight
Wish I was dead
Now I'm bawlin' like the baby
In "Eraserhead"

Too fat to fly
Too fat to fly
Too fat to fly
I'm sick, soft, privileged and white
Too fat to fly.


("The Dead Kennedys? Well, dear, that was a band mommy and daddy used to listen to when we were your age...")

I am shocked, SHOCKED, that no one--including the LA-LA Times--have made mention of the fact that this whole thing smacks of, at best, suspicious timing. Smith has a movie coming out next week and, as the old saw goes, "There's no such thing as bad (or free) publicity."

Now I am not asserting that Smith and Southwest were in cahoots... but me thinks that somewhere is PR people (and his agent) are feeling the LUV.

People onboard also complaints about odor,eating,drinking habits,colgne,farts,smell of next sitting passengers ..
Does that also an oppurtunity for any airline to charge more money ?

There should be a weight limit, just like there is for baggage. Over weight, but two seats or 1st class. Sitting next to an opese person can be very unpleasant because they usually encroach on your seat.

Know your customer. That's all Southwest needs to do. Evicting larger people from planes on the principle of being unable to accommodate them should never have to be done--they should be prevented from boarding in the first place. SW ends up with egg on their face for this to many customers besides Kevin Smith, which is further exacerbated by the fat-phobic base of customers seen commenting here. Their treatment of the problem on the whole is a lot like letting short kids purchase tickets for, and sit on a roller-coaster before ever measuring them--and only doing so when there is a complaint, or a situation that may result in a lawsuit. Those of who who have flown with fat people and not enjoyed it have experienced the general lack of practice of assessing the requirements of customer before allowing his/her participation.

Most people commenting here are wildly assertive of Mr. Smith's breadth, when they couldn't provide an appreciable calculation of the difference between them and him. You don't know how fat he is. You just know how fat he looks. The fatness disgusts you, and in turn you become a disgusting person through your thoughts and actions. Shame be upon you. I applaud Mr. Smith's assertion that he fits well into the seat he was provided, and his challenge to reproduce his results in a public experiment. If he's bluffing, SW loses nothing by calling it. However, if SW feels they don't "know their customer" well enough, they'll decline the challenge. After all, why interrupt status-quo when it's a lot easier to ride on the bigotry of your thin customers--the ones who will neatly, and compliantly line up like sardines in your air-bound tin-cans.

Personally, I'm overweight. I have no problem fitting into an airplane seat. I've never had to sit next to an annoying, obnoxious, or otherwise overflowing passenger. For this, I'm apparently blessed--but I presume it's because I don't fly much. I would find it inconvenient and unfair to have another passenger's misfortune imposed upon me--but I would certainly sooner blame the airline, than them. Their issues--especially those which are apparent from cursory, visual inspections--should be known and accounted for by the service provider. I should never have to complain, or worry about these affronts to my comfort and enjoyment, because SW should damn well be capable of addressing them before anything even starts.

If overweight people want to fly, then they should have to sit next to each other so they can rub shoulders together. I don't want to sit next to them.

Embarrass the crap out of the airlines, Kevin. Make them take seats out of the planes and put in some normal sized ones. It is discrimination to force someone to pay for two seats and most people cannot afford it. It is time and past time the fluffy had a celebrity spokesperson. DO IT. The normal size for an American woman is 14-16. If you want to lose weight, if it affecting your health or mobility go ahead and lose weight, but don't be pressured. Sizes 0-6 is sick, not beautiful.

If they can measure your luggage, while asserting its valid transport locations and apportioned charges; why can't they do the same for passengers?

Shouldn't people who take less than a whole seat receive some kind of Weight-Refund for the amount of fuel the airline didn't burn transporting them?

Oh, you didn't think about that side of the coin, did you, Mr. Fat-o-Phobe? You don't care how the airline gouges you, or how they treat you (no smoking, no air-guitar, no mile-high club, no using your "Miles" on round-trips during Holidays and religious observances, seats that are likely to give you strokes from deep leg thrombosis), but the moment another passenger inconveniences you... you're all up in arms. You don't care because you're happy with being abused by an intangible corporation, but not a tangible human being who is also being similarly abused.

You all are like dogs at Mr. Vick's house: Love the master. Hate the competition.

@Colin Clifford

Actully, I'd be on his side. I'd love to sit next to Silent Bob! XD

Seriously, I'd love to chat to him talk to him about his movies. Ya know, be friendly an' talk.

But really, I'd rather sit next to a nice (yet chubby) smart guy than a regular weighted guy who is aggressive with the shoulder rest or rude.

hmmm... see an opportunity to get your Q rating up there a bit, didja big boy? pathetic

He should go on Celebrity Fit Club and try again

Why can't the LA TImes report news? What sources is Leslie Gornstein using to buttress her assertion that the man fit well in his seat and that "there was a fatter guy on the same plane"? Look at this man's picture. He's huge. There is no way he fit well into a SW AIrlines seat. Put those cookies down, Leslie, pull up your sweatpants, and GET REAL.

I can't stand sitting next to thees people who think they can fit into a seat, and how comfortable am I sitting next to them. Buy 2 Seats

Fat people are like smokers, they think their choice to eat/smoke only affects them and not those next to them. Not so. One time I sat next to a fat person who was quelling over and under the arm rest and I felt completely claustrophobic. It took them so long to sit down that I didn't ask them to stand up so I could pee. Instead I held it and had a stomach ache for two days. Aside from that the fat (obese) person was stinky and kept leaning forward to eat the food from their carry on between their ankles and each forward bend sent more flesh in my direction. It was worst flight in my life. Luckily it was a short flight. Fat people need to get it together by realizing they don't live in a vacuum. Their fat is a pain to everyone around them. Especially in the air!!

the reason the "fatter guy" stayed on was because he wasn't a STAND BY customer. He had more right to his two seats than Kevin Smith did. Kevin Smith is still awesome though lol

"Safety risks" aren't the only legitimate reason for removing fat people from airplanes. Other passengers paid hundreds of dollars for tickets so that, at the very least, they could sit comfortably in their own seats. If Smith's fat spills over into the adjacent seats, passengers aren't getting what they paid for. If this poll's authors wanted an accurate representation of how people felt, they would simply ask how many people felt airlines had the right to remove overweight people. This poll is designed to give people who support Southwest no option that represents their feelings, so they won't vote. Thus the results are artificially skewed against Southwest.

This blog also accepts Smith's unconfirmed assertions that a fatter man rode the plane, and that Smith himself would fit comfortably in one seat. This strikes me as irresponsible journalism. Smith claims he declined to ask why he was turned away, while a fatter man was not, because he didn't want to throw the fatter man "under the plane." This is a funny story, but not a reliable source for a legitimate newspaper. Even if there was another fat man, there is no reason to assume Southwest discriminated against Smith. Perhaps the Southwest employee, who has to judge these things on the spur of the moment, merely thought Smith was fatter, or didn't notice the other man.

Smith's assertion that he fits comfortably in one seat is belied by the fact that he always buys two seats when he flies Southwest. Why would he do so, unless he knew that riding in one seat would cause problems? At the very least, Smith knew either that he may cause discomfort to an adjacent passenger, or that Southwest may not let him ride in one seat. He had fair warning.

These airline policies provide one of the few remaining incentives, meager though it may be, for fat people to lose weight. It will be a shame if rising sensitivity and political correctness end up making it comfortable for fat people to remain fat, while the rest of the U.S. suffers through awkward flights -- not to mention inflated health care costs -- due to their indulgence.

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