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Kevin Smith's pre-'Fatgate' admission: 'I broke a toilet.'

February 15, 2010 |  4:58 pm

Smith

At first glance, there wouldn’t seem to be a lot of obvious upsides to Kevin Smith’s getting ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight for being too fat. Even if the director ranks among Twitter’s hottest trending topics, significantly goosing the number of media mentions for his new action-comedy, “Cop Out,” which hits theaters on Feb. 26.

But while the incident — and Smith’s subsequent Tweakout about the ordeal, dubbed “Fatgate” —  continues to generate headlines worldwide, it’s not the first time the “Clerks” writer-director has suffered an ignominious, weight-related embarrassment just days before theatrically releasing a new movie.

In 2008, just before the roll-out of his under-performing romantic comedy “Zach and Miri Make a Porno,” Smith suffered a similar humiliation: He admitted that his self-described “morbid obesity” had been responsible for the destruction of a household appliance. And then, as now, he milked it for all it was worth on his blog and in interviews.

“I broke a toilet,” he told The Times. “That’s how heavy I am. I can’t take all the credit. That was an old toilet and a very water-logged wall. But still, there’s no excuses, dude. I cannot cognitively reframe it and be like, ‘It wasn’t me. It was the toilet.’ It was definitely me! And that’s a wake-up call.”

Asked why he would volunteer such a potentially embarrassing story about himself, Smith demurred. “It’s a good story,” he said. “It’s tough not to tell even though I’m the fat clown at the center of it. Putting it out there is saying, ‘I get it. I understand.’ ”

In the immediate aftermath of the director’s Twitter tirade, various blogs weighed in on the matter. Gawker.com hailed the director’s Tweakout as “the best thing Kevin Smith has written since ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.’ ” TMZ, meanwhile, observed “Southwest Should Fit Wide Loads” in its headline about the incident.

Although it is too soon to gauge Smith’s impact on Southwest’s bottom line, anecdotal evidence suggests that he has galvanized his Twitter constituency by vilifying the airline’s treatment of Customers of Size.

“Wanna tell me I’m too wide for the sky? Totally cool,” Smith tweeted Saturday. “But fair warning folks: IF YOU LOOK LIKE ME, YOU MAY BE EJECTED FROM @SouthwestAir.”

The response from many of Smith’s followers has been unequivocal.

On Sunday, one named @chaseronio likened the director to no less than Martin Luther King Jr. in a tweet: “Ur the MLK of fatties."

“I have a Dream,” Smith twittered back with deadpan aplomb. “And two lunches (meatball parm & Trix). And a couple of Twinkies. And a Diet Coke.”

-- Chris Lee

RELATED:

POLL: Kevin Smith vs. Southwest Airlines

Photo of Kevin Smith by Jay L. Clendenin for the Los Angeles Times.


 
Comments () | Archives (137)

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I heard that he originally purchased two ticket due to his weight, but was denied boarding when he flew stand by and they only had one seat available. So why is he making all this fuss now, since he obviously acknowledged the fact that he was so fat that he needed two seats?

Had they simply given this Tub 'O' Lard the extra pack of peanuts, none of this would have happened. Never, ever get between a fat boy and his snacks!

Now if Southwest can ixnay the screaming baby I'll be a customer for life!

No fatties, bags fly free! No fatties, bags fly free!

To tell you the truth they should have asked who wants to sit in Kevin Smiths folds on this flight, I can guarantee you there would have been a dozen fan boys/girls who wouldnt mind sharing thier seat with him... the problem is Southwest.. and people being rude.

In my case, I literally have a medically verifiable disease, for which I have seen numerous doctors, that causes obesity. There is no cure and no treatment has worked on me. Discrimination against me, or those with the same condition, might as well be directed toward people with cerebral palsy or paralysis or any other medically verfiable disease. If you call me a "fattie," you might as well call a differently-abled person a "spaz" or "cripple." There's no difference. They're both caused by underlying dieases. Of course, you cannot tell by looking at the overweight and obese, WHY they are they way they are. However, given that some of them could be obese due to an underlying condition, it's best to just not insult and discriminate.

Gosh... perhaps Mr. Smith was inspired by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. Remember last year when Mr. Khan created an international tempest-in-a-teapot when he threw a hissy fit because he was briefly detained and questioned by US immigration when he flew to New Jersey? He claimed he was "humiliated" because he was questioned.

He was on a world wide promotion of his new movie. What better way to announce his arrival on US soil to his western hemisphere fans than to create a news headline?

Feel free to kick off fat people like me, but then also please kick off anybody whose children can't shut the hell up and anybody who needs to get to' up from the flo' up to fly. It is, after all, about passenget comfort.

If you are fat, buy two seat or first class, period.
I am not thin but not that fat and I do not like to sit next to person that invade my seat. Last time, I was on international flight and the person sit next to me so fat that I cannot even put my arm on the arm rest and my shoulder almost touch his. I even hesitate to go to bathroom because it is a hassle to ask for this fat guy to get out of his seat. I think the airline should have the regulation to let fat people sit next to each other to understand the feeling of others who are on the other side. If you blame SWA, you promote obesity in America?

Kevin Smith needs to get his fat axe to the gym. I do to control my weight and I don't want some cow squeezing me out of the seat I paid for. They should charge a premium for anyone (gender, age, origin, etc.) that is over a certain weight and it should be at least the cost of two seats. After all, that air bus will only get off the ground with so many pounds of payload.

Better yet, after seeing the pix with this article, Kev needs to keep puffing that cig. In no time at all, he won't be an issue.

I was watching "Clerks" again and it's shocking how massive the guy has gotten since that movie. This Hitchcock-without-portfolio has got to get back to playin' some hockey.

When airlines are defining "obese", they're identifying passengers who are morbidly obese. The definition of obese is actually about 20% above designated healthy weight range for a person's height. Someone who's healthy weight is a maximum of 200 pounds and weighs 240 is technically obese but I'm sure would NOT be kicked off a plane. Probably 30% of airplane passengers are technically obese so airplane seats are NOT that small today.

I have no sympathy for the morbidly obese whose bodies occupy neighboring seats on planes. They should seek medical help, start a diet without high fructose corn syrup and get exercise. They are a heavy burden to society by driving up insurance costs and taking the world's resources away from hungry people. Bags fly free on Southwest. The morbidly obese should fly in business class and pay accordingly.

 
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