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

February 15, 2010 |  4:58 pm


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


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 never heard of this guy before.....now he thinks he is famous....ooooh pleeeeez

While I'm sympathetic to "customers of size", I'm also sympathetic of persons whose seat is being invaded by the corpulence of their neighbor. Mr. Smith obviously knew Southwest's policy (buy two seats), since he bought two seats. He screwed the proverbial pooch when he tried to stand by on an earlier flight. Standby's board last on about EVERY airline, and planes are FULL - you're just not going to find two seats together as a standby passengers unless you're on the Fresno-to-Asheville redeye. Mr. Smith - you're fat. That's not an insult, it's a statement of fact which you, yourself, broadcast loud, wide, and clear. Southwest would have had NO issues accomodating you on your scheduled flight. It isn't fair to the passengers on the earlier flight to expect them to rearrange themselves in order to allow you the PRIVELEGE of boarding that earlier flight as a standby passenger. So, step back a few extra steps, get a running jump, and TRY to get over yourself, honey.

No one cares.

Being morbidly obese is a disease, like alcoholism. It shouldn't be used as a bathroom joke or a vehicle to hype a poorly directed film.

Some should call Kevin Smith out and tell him to shut up and seek help.

I'm English...and thin as most of us are when compared to Americans. Kevin Smith's films are good, however I must disagree with him on this. You see, anytime I fly to the US or Canada, I get crammed between two giant, American cow-beasts whose bulging lard expands well into the seat I rightfully purchased. Any company or company owner deserves the freedom to refuse service to a giant, disgusting American tub-of-lard. Thank you.

if you are so large as to take more space and crowd the person next to you you should get yer ass in the cargo hold its called choice's if you choose to eat to much and bulk up and infringe on others space you can piss off fatty other then that i dont rly care to each there own i say but my space is just that try a real meal not 3 per meal time sheesh

Yea, interesting coincidences there ;) Anyway, airlines should be fair and charge ALL people by weight, just like any other cargo. That's all we are to them anyway...

I agree with the airline's position that if you cannot put down the armrest that person needs to buy two seats or take another flight. I was on a two hour flight to the mid West and the person sitting on the aisle seat before me had lifted up the armrest and also occupy about 1/3 of my seat. I had to squeeze my internal organs to sit between him and the wall of the plane. I was in this position for the two hour flight. I could not even relax my muscles until I got off the plane. Is it fair that I pay for a flight seat and can only occupy 2/3 of the seat while this person next to me can fly in a relax position?

As for this director, I think he is only trying to get publicity for his movie.

He's obese and he smokes. He'll be dead soon, like his career. No obese people should fly commercial.

Maybe he should go into Michelle Obama's Just Mover program. At least there will be one person in the program!!

If you're too fat, what difference does it make who you are. It sounds like you are a big-mouthed individual who doesn't care about his health and thinks you are too important to play by the rules. Southwest just sees size and not how important YOU think YOU are. Get a life. You sound like one of your generation - entitled - the rule don't apply to you. I say "great job Southwest! Keep up the good work!!"

Hate to say this, but Kevin, take this situation as an inelegant way of saying "You got to diet and control your weight!" However, you are the man regardless.

Ha ha ha ... keep ranting, Smith, you moron. The more you talk, the more we all realize what an obnoxious, spoiled, Hollywood brat you are.
You think this is really going to hurt Southwest? In a few months, nobody will even care. But quietly, their loyal customers will cling to them like never before, realizing that when they fly Southwest, they can rest assured that they won't have to tolerate flying in half a seat because of people like you sitting next to them.

I only hope that Southwest doesn't pull a politically-correct wimp-out and end their policy. It is a good one. They are selling X cubic inches of space for the price of a ticket. It's that simple. If you can fit, you can't go in just one seat.

What a jerk

What a pig ....

blow-heart no talent fat dude, milking twitter-idiots for all they're worth.

he should have to pay southwest for his stoopidity.

Yes, the airline was correct. I've sat next to "large" people at sports events and on airplanes. I paid for a full seat but settled for an uncomfortable one-half a seat, and that is not fair to me. If they choose to be that size, then they need to pay for the extra seat space.

Fat passengers impose on the comfort of adjacent passsengers. Every flier has had this experience. It's time they pay for extra space and don't make others' experience unpleasant for the duration of the flight. Suggest a new standard based on the tape measure.

Perhaps.....if he JUST kept his mouth CLOSED????? Like so many pathetic 'special' groups, they LOVE getting in our face and BOASTING about how OBJECTIONABLE they are....and that EVERYONE should LOVE THEM....BARF!

This is all great PR for his new movie. Did any of you think of that? No, you're too busy pretending the world cares what you think of him.

the solution is obvious. eat less. every day. exercise. don't be a hog.

As was already stated, Kevin Smith is the man and I would like him to get a tad smaller just so he will be around longer. I have liked some of his movies more than others, but the videos of his tours at colleges are priceless.

tom tom, if you have NEVER heard of Kevin Smith, I guess that means we must disregard everything you say because you have clearly been beneath a rock for decades. I don't know how I feel about Southwest's policy. I've been squished by sprawling seatmates, but they seem to be a bit arbitrary about the rule.

You idiots should read the original article... no part of his body was occupying more than one seat and he was also able to put the armrest on either side of him down. Southwest policy states that if you can't put both armrests down, you will be ejected or have to purchase a second seat. Since he was well within the parameters of the company guidelines (which is my no means supported by the law, mind you), neither should have happened to him.

THANK YOU Southwest Airlines! This type of justifiable action is long overdue. It is not about discriminating against fat people, it is about protecting the safety and comfort of ALL passengers.

LOL. I think they covered it all......

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