Removing obese filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats) from a plane has resulted in a ton of bad publicity for Southwest Airlines.

And that’s not fair to Southwest.

Smith could have reasonably been thrown off the plane in mid-flight simply for directing Jersey Girl in 2004.


But in this case, he was only asked to get off for being too fat to fit in a single seat.

Smith usually buys two adjoining seats when he flies to accommodate his girth. That’s admirable.

Southwest asked him to get off the plane on Saturday because he was flying standby and didn’t get his usual two adjoining seats.

An angry Smith then began tweeting away, complaining about getting 86’d. He said he could squeeze into a single seat and shouldn’t have been evicted.

Many Americans are siding with Smith. Makes sense — America is the fattest nation in the world.

The worst flight of my life occurred about five years ago. I was on my way back from Las Vegas and got stuck in the middle seat between two extremely fat people.

Their sweaty arms and legs and blubbery midsections all spilled over into my space. I was the middle part of a whale sandwich.

For four hours I was stuck in my seat between them (bad weather forced us to sit for two hours at the airport before we finally departed). Not once was I able to use the arm rests.

I actually put on headphones and watched “Herbie Fully Loaded” – twice – rather than listen to the mouth breathing.

I sympathize with obese people. I’m well on my way to becoming one of them.

But it’s not fair for someone to spend hundreds of dollars on an airline ticket and then have to sit next to people who are so large they require all of their seating space and half of yours too.

The Southwest Airlines rule that forces fatties to buy two tickets is a good one. Smith needs to get over it – or lose weight. After all, it isn’t the airline’s fault he’s fat.

This Southwest Airlines blog post gives the company’s version of the incident, including an unnecessary apology to Smith.

It’s probably only coincidence that Smith has a film about to be released, the new Bruce Willis movie Cop Out.

Here is Smith’s account:


  1. “Many Americans are siding with Smith. ” I’m going through the comments everywhere I can find, and it looks like the ratio is about 95% against Smith, 5% “I’m not going to fly Southwest”, and I think there was a single person who was willing to follow Kevin Smith’s claims of having his privacy violated.

    I’m incredibly entertained to know that there is a limit to the Twitter-vengeance that citizens can seek against companies. It turns out that, even if you’re a celebrity with tons of followers, if the problem you’re complaining about is your fault, companies are going to expose your lies and not back down.

  2. Actually from what I can tell about the incident, from reading about it from more then just one site, Kevin Smith handled it quite well and has been making a scene about it in good humor. He even says why and how many posts he plans on making about it simply because of the principle.

    He is absolutely right, the policy and every other rule should be well looked into before everyone is seated and ready to go.

    As for this writer, and everyone else who posts things like previously stated “Im glad they threw him off, fat blah blah”… Obesity isnt the only typical American problem. Short sighted, critque attitude, and poor education is a mighty big one to.

  3. Great fact checking, Jeff. According to Smith he buys two tickets just to have an empty seat next to him. He stated numerous times that he did fit in one seat without his girth spilling over he arm rest.

    Maybe when you learn how to be a real journalist, you know, one that checks his sources better, you’ll write for a better rag than the Fort Worh weekly.

  4. Chris, of course Smith said that. What did you expect him to say? BTW: If the Weekly is such a rag go post your vomit somewhere else. Finally not sure if you are fat or not, but you sure are an ass.