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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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This is purely for the publicity. The man cannot star in or direct a hit so he has to do something.

Airlines should accommodate people of size - by seating them all together in their own section. Maybe then Kevin will understand what it's like...

I am a 6'4" 210# dude and if the armrest won't go down, he is in MY seat. A 125# lady should not be charged for a 50# checked bag either. The fairest system would be one scale at check in, get on with your bags & carry on an pay $X for every pound over 300! I am sick of fighting with excess carry on too.

I am the only one who read that he purchased TWO tickets for his original flight and then went standby??? So he acknowledges that he is too fat to fly and then makes a big deal about it when southwest calls him out?

I have a wonderful idea! eat a few less twinkies shamu and then you will only need one seat and have to purchased one ticket!

Lose the weight tubby! Stop blaming the world for your obesity. Get yourself a job in a weird Al video...

Kevin Smith get's NO sympathy from me. Lose weight, fat boy. It's people in your weight class that are ruining the world.

Two thumbs up to Southwest!!! As a frequent traveler I've been stationed in the seat next to these morbidly obese excuses for a person. I've had to sit with my arms extended and crossing each other because there wasn't room at my side. I've had to eat one handed because my other arm was inoperable. I have left both trains and planes with pain, tingling and no feeling in an arm from having it compressed and the circulation cut off. I've been hit by passengers and food trolleys because I was forced to hang over my arm rest and into the isle. And I'm a tiny guy with a 31" waist and a 40" chest, its not like I'm any part of the problem. Screw the "lower the armrest rule"! When the passengers are in pain because of these people there is a problem. Again, two thumbs up to Southwest for thinking of the passengers that matter... the majority that know when to put the fork down. To the morbidly obese... you know you're fat. You didn't get this way over night. You know that your size, that only you can control, pains and inconveniences people. You know that you should be buying two seats. Where do you get off complaining that someone rightfully threw your body off a plane? You're as morbidly stupid as you are morbidly obese!

I've had the displeasure of being seated on a plane next to a person whose "persona" flowed over the arm rest into my personal space. I paid good money for "my space", and I don't want to share it with a total stranger who is oblivious to his own obnoxiousness. Any self-respecting person who knows her or she is too large for one seat should discuss their largeness with the airlines while booking their flight to see if they can be accommodated. To not do so is highly presumptuous to the disadvantage of anyone the person has to sit next to. Rude. Rude. Rude.

Who the heck is Kevin Smith and who gives a care?

any body got a line on exactly how much the fatman weighs?

I'm guessing 330.

First, we have no real problems in our lives if this "continues to make headlines around the world"... Seriously?

Second, Shut up about twitter. Famous people are getting mad and "twittering"... Oh man that's serious business.

And last, Sue Grant, neither obesity nor alcoholism are diseases. As a recovering alcoholic, it frustrates me to hear people say that because it's just a bunch of people making up an excuse for their lack of will power. In the true definition of the word, it is not a disease. There are some medical conditions that can cause obesity or weight gain, but the obesity itself is not a disease and if you don't have a medical condition that causes weight gain, then again, it is sheer lack of will power. This is why their are so many people who can't take responsibility for their action, because there are always people out their who make up BS in order to take that responsibility away.

Being fat is not a disease. It's being lazy.

He's proven that pigs do, in fact, fly -- just not on Southwest.

Well I am jealous of all the Southwest flyers.......fat people are going to boycott Southwest and take other airlines and now there will be plenty of room for the passengers to relax and not have THEIR space invaded by the "wide bodies" (I thought that only pertained to the airplanes not the passengers).

Unfortunately for me, I fly United Airlines.........I guess "united" means I now get to share half of my seat with another passenger. Bummer........

Your 15 minutes are up, next story please!

Kevin Smith is a media HOG. He understands and abides by the 2 seat rule but has used this issue for his own personal benefit. Fat organizations trying to boycott South West are stepping on the rights of the rest of us. Why should we be crushed or crowded by a person who has decided to consume double tripple or more food than necessary over a period of years. They choose to engorge themselves and live a sedentary lifestyle, their choice... Where are my rights as a non obese individual? I hope the fat peopel boycott of south west works, then I will not have to be encroched upon by someone who shouldn't be on the plane in the first place...

Kevin, you might have had an ounce of sympathy from me except that you're whining, stamping feet, swearing up a blue streak and otherwise acting like an immature pre-teen deprived of... whatever. And really, these horrid things always happen right when your movies are about to debut. Of course, maybe it takes the public's mind off the fact that your movies really aren't all that great...

And seriously, if some fat person's bulk bleeds over into my seat, then I want them to PAY me for it. Yes, give the folks who are denied their seats a cash-back or refund on their seat.

He's fat and he smokes. I hope he isn't on my health insurance.

Finally, I support the fat-association's boycott of Southwest... please fly another airline and leave Southwest to those who actually fit into the seats.

If you can't fit into the airline seat without flowing into the adjacent seats, whether under and over the armrest, or god forbid you lift it up and flow into the next seat completely unabated, then you shouldn't fly. In fact, parts of you can likely reach your destination without the need for flight. When they check you at the security x-ray, they should be looking for weapons, not missing children.

All self-rightous skinny people need to understand that once the famine hits, you will be the first to die of starvation.

Well, it's all fine and good for "Silent Bob" to use his obesity and this situation with the airline for a laugh but for the EVERYDAY people who do have to endure true discrimination based on their body size, it is no laughing matter...and the definition for "obesity" can be as low as 150 lbs! Maybe Kevin needs to educate himself by contacting the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) or the International Size Acceptance Association. Both are online. If he did, then he'd know it is a lot harder for larger sized women to be fat in this society than men. Many larger sized women have to pay more for clothing, they're also oftentimes denied employment or even fired from jobs for being "too fat" and some have even had kids taken away from them because of it. Sure, they could diet their way down to a size 0, but that is not the answer. TREATING EVERYONE FAIRLY REGARDLESS OF WEIGHT IS.

Never mind the fact that many of us who are larger sized are also in good health and do exercise on a daily basis, but there are many of us for whom no matter how much we exercise and diet we will always be large...and for women over 40 it is a lot more difficult...that's not an excuse, that is the truth! Problem here, is as long as people like Kevin laugh along with the other sizists, there will always be those who think it's ok to continue to pass on the myth we who are overweight/obese do nothing but sit on our butts all day and eat supersized fast food meals and wash it down with diet Coke. Thanks to this kind of stuff, we are always classified by virtue of our size as being "lazy" "out of control" "ugly" and not sexually attractive....and it's time for the larger sized people of the world to speak up and say ENOUGH!

I had really hoped that Kevin Smith would use this an as opportunity to speak up for larger sized people and stand up for their basic civil right to be treated with respect...but instead he chose to follow the crowd and play the "class clown." I'm very disappointed in him for that.

what a joke, whiney fatso's trying to turn a lack of control and bad eating habits into a civil rights issue, HA HA, I have had to sit next to you on planes far too many times to have any sympathy for you, sorry, step away from the burger and fries. Maybe those who have a medical condition that makes them morbidly obese could get a Medical certificate to separate them from the 30% of us in the US who are obese for no other reason than we have no self control. Kevin smith is a entitled hollywood twat. Maybe the fear of being humiliated by Southwest Airlines may in fact enable a few people to take control of there lifestyles and this discussion may save a few lives?

Smith is perfectly proportioned.

Southwest's planes are too skinny.

Glad I wasn't sitting next to him. Sat on the plane one time next to someone like that. Terrible. He should have paid for two seats and used both of them.

To tomtom | 02/15/2010 at 05:38 PM
You've heard of his movies but never him because he's behind the camera. (make up your own joke here) Now that he's in the news about being fat, he's in front of the camera. His movies made his name famous, but his fat is making his face & name famous.

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