Kevin Smith to go Silent Bob on Southwest incident?
Readers and reporters hoping to get more color and quotes on the Kevin Smith Fatgate espisode may be disappointed: the freewheeling filmmaker and prolific Tweeter won't talk about the subject as he embarks on a publicity tour for his movie "Cop Out."
According to members of is publicity team, the director is planning to decline questions at a junket for the film in New York next weekend (no, he won't be flying Southwest to get there) and at publicity stops afterward.
In fact, Smith is contemplating doing just one mainstream media appearance -- if that -- with "Larry King Live" one of the programs in contention.(There have been discussions with many shows and even a conversation with "Oprah," though that one didn't materialize.)
This past weekend, Smith was removed from a flight because of his weight, creating a media- and Twitter-storm. The incident has hit several zeitgeist chords, touching on obesity in America and the (in)conveniences of flying, favored subjects for many.
But what publicity effect the whole fracas will have on the upcoming "Cop Out" remains to be seen. Most people who weren't Smith fans didn't know the film, which is being marketed by Warner Bros. as a Bruce Willis-Tracy Morgan "Rush Hour"-esque vehicle, was a Smith-directed piece, and they probably still don't know. The talk is of airline policies and prejudices; it isn't parsing the Smith oeuvre or the nuances of Greasy Reesy.
With Smith's 1.6 million Twitter followers (and plenty of other online readers) jumping on the story, the incident does once again highlight how a story can enter and stay in the news cycle without much help from the mainstream media. (Of course with the Larry King and other media discussions it also shows how the mainstream media is needed to move that story forward, but no matter.)
Having brought the issue to the fore, Smith, though, is now tiring of it. On Twitter last night, after linking to a blog post responding to a Southwest blog post (one in which he wrote "Let’s Tweet about other stuff, shall we? This is starting to taste mediciney and fruitless)" he concluded with "G'night, folks. Let's talk about anything else tomorrow." That could happen soon -- but probably not today.
Photo: Kevin Smith. Credit: Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times