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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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Kevin has stated that he was able to put the arm rests down. If he can fit in the seat as intended by the airline, why should he be forced to buy a second seat??

Wait a minute...morbid obesity is a DISEASE?

Sorry, it's because you EAT TOO MUCH CRAP and EXERCISE too little.
Caloric INTAKE exceeds caloric OUTPUT. Very very simple math. Stomach stapling often doesn't succeed, because the same pattern continues.

So now I'm supposed to pay more for health insurance because of people who are too lazy to exercise, while I've been doing it 3 times a week for 25 years?

Also-Kev-if your armrest is up because you don't fit in the seat, that means you're sitting in MY SEAT.
Have you seen this guy's bog? Bragging about all the Twinkies he eats, all the Coke he drinks? Some disease. Don't buy it.
Typical Victim mentality. It's all Southwest's fault that he has made these stupid choices in his life? NO.
Please fly first class, BIG shot.

Now here is another angle to think about. The airlines keep making the seats smaller and smaller, so they can collect more money. Airline have created much (not all ) of this problem. I am not super thin but I can put the arm rests down, but after reading this, I wonder when i f=get on a plane who will be saying FATSO about me, or I will be wondering, : Am i going to get thrown off. I have gotten crowded out by the person who wants to spread their computer and books all over and I can't move. So be careful, fat people have feeling and don't think they are not self conscience and hear the whispers and chuckles. If this were about sitting next to a homosexual it would be called hate crime or discriminiation. This is no different.

I say again - AIRLINES put the seats back to the size they were years ago and we as passengers will be more happy - Fat and skinny alike !!

Come all of you look at what you are saying about a person? Are we in a world that cheers on the biggest loser but not support their rights? Some of our best presidents were large men. Thank god they had their own private jet because Americans would not want to sit next to them. These comments sound like they are coming from a bunch of mean school kids with no one to slap their hands with a ruler.

Obesity is a HUGE health concern. We have too much acceptance and pandering to fat people. If you want me to sit next to you or pay for your health care, lose some weight!

How many servings of airline snack food does it take to satisfy a fat airhead's greed for headlines?

There are handicap bathrooms, parking spots, etc everywhere. Why couldn't there be a certain amount of larger seats for heavier people, so the thin people won't complain. Do not charge extra !! It is not right just because of size to pay more. If so - under weight people should do the same. Thinner people make assumptions about heavier people - laziness, slobs, don't care about themselves etc. Unless you have been there don't judge what you don't know about. yes it is true with more effort many people could lose weight. But until they do, they should be able to fly without fear, ridicule and embarrasement from others. We suffer in ways you will never understand. This Man SMITH has done us no favors, just has drawn attention to heavy people on planes for a long time !! Now all will stare, joke, whisper and complain, and we will feel even worse. Why are poeple so cruel ??

even though this is barely news worthy, it highlights a rather annoying if disturbing trend i've noticed lately. actual events and facts take a second seat to the deluge of (usually hasty and uninformed) opinions that emerge about those events and facts. maybe it's even for this reason that the facts become so unimportant. i'll grant kevin smith that he doesn't look that fat in his picture. maybe the arm rests didn't go down, maybe they did. however, if you're going to kick up a big public fuss over something, you need to present something substantive. how much exactly did you weigh at that time and how tall are you, for instance? until a fact like that is known about this case, all opinions about what happened are totally useless, yet it's such a critical detail that is curiously absent from every piece of reporting on the subject. i'm not saying whose fault that is necessarily, but in part it is the fault of anyone who bases some strong believe or opinion on something they know absolutely nothing about.

He said that he could put down both armrests and buckle the seatbelt sans extension. Therefore, he was in compliance with their policy and he shouldn't have been kicked off, no matter what anyone thinks about fat people and airplanes.

All I am reading here is a bunch of size-ists commenting. I'm a man of girth and I couldn't imagine being taken off of a FULL plane in front of everyone over a "size policy". How embarrassing that must be. Also this article doesn't tell the full story and most of you commenting are just jumping to the conclusion that he's fat, or you just hate his films and want to bash him any way you can. The full story is that Kevin DOES fit in a seat with the regular belt and the armrests down, per SWA Policy, so this whole thing never should have happened. In a few articles and Blogs that I've read it has been incorrectly stated that he usually purchases 2 tickets at a time. This is not true. It's a power control issue. Someone singled him out and made him take a later flight. And that was wrong. Also Kevin would be the first person to admit that he is NOT a celebrity or famous like some of you have stated here. He's actually a really humble guy. Get your facts straight before you comment about someone.

I flew on Southwest once and a fat woman took up two seats. I've never flown Southwest again. When they outlaw FAT people I will.

So, he's fat AND he smokes? Nice combo.

Also, being morbidly obease isn't a disease. It is a fattie not working out. I get the munchies and can take on any of these guys in a contest, but I work out. So, I'm not fat. The only disease they have is laziness.

Hey Chris Lee, shut up. Lots of people rant about something bad that happened to them during the day on Twitter. Are they "milking it"? No, it's human nature. Why the hell shouldn't Kevin Smith do it? Because he's famous? Unless you're accusing Smith of orchestrating the whole thing with Southwest as a publicity stunt then the fact he has a movie coming out is irrelevant.

Fat people boycotting Southwest Airlines? No more having to spend hours with a fat person's arm in your lap? I'm flying Southwest!

I'm not sure many of you read the entire story. He actually said that he always buys two seats, but by the time he got on the plane only one was left. He paid the airlines for two seats which he did not get and then subsequently got kicked off the plane because he allegedly could not properly fit in the one seat he was given. I think the policy is just fine, however, Kevin paid for two seats and only got one. That is the real issue in my eyes. They overbooked as usual and the "fat-boy" got kicked...

As for Kevin Smith, he's friggin hilarious. That little speech on Twilight at Comic-Con was too funny. However, I suggest next time you just buy a first class ticket... they seat first:)

I heard that Kevin was able to put the armrest down, that might be true but even a big Octopus can easily do just that but where do you think the rest of the body goes? It will moved up above the armrest, now the person seating next to him is squeezed out, not able to rest his/her own arm. Besides, if I have to pay for my luggage in most airlines, he too should be required to pay extra for his weight. It's just fair.

Thank you Southwest , I for SURE , will use the "both arm rests down" rule next time I sit next to a FATTY. Its so gross they sweat ,all their fold smell and they breath through their mouths, sooooo disgusting.
FAT people are living graveyards...stop eating the animals and you wont die.

Dude, if you took a dump over San Fran, you could have taken out the Golden Gate Bridge. THAT'S TERRORISM!!!!!!

I'm a big fan of Southwest Airlines, and support them 100% in this situation. While it's impolite to focus on someone's weight or other physical attributes, I agree completely that overweight people should pay for 2 seats. Flying these days is tough enough and full of stress; no reason to have your personal space invaded on top of all that. GO SOUTHWEST!

If this idiot is breaking toilets, think about what would happen to people below, when he flushes!!!!!!!!!!!

Much ado about nothing. He knew the airline's policy. Lay off the junk food and maybe you won't be penalized for possessing a derriere and midsection that overflows into other people's personal space.

That aside, Smith is irrelevant. His movies are poorly directed slipshod affairs, pandering to the intellectually deficient, the kind of people who possess extremely narrow attention spans and, as such, much constantly be bombarded with loud noises and jubblies. Frat boys love his movies. Big surprise.

I'm so conflicted...while I'd give a lot to be able to share a flight with Mr. Smith, I don't think I'd want it to be a very long one. But since I'm only 160 lbs., Mr. Smith would be welcome to my armrest.

I don't like it when gigantic monsters take over half of my seat on a plane. Huge people like Kevin Smith are not the victims here.

You go, Kevin! Torment them all you can and make the most of this. If you don't shame them, what's next? Throw a guy off the plane because he looks "too black"? Because he's a Jew? Because he's wearing a turbin? Oh, excuse, me. They're already doing that.

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