Filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) was thrown off a Southwest Airlines plane Saturday night when the flight crew determined he posed a “safety risk” due to his size. The overweight celeb immediately took to Twitter to air his grievances. Here’s his multi-tweet tantrum (organized into paragraphs for semi-coherence):
Dear @SouthwestAir – I know I’m fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?
Dear @SouthwestAir, I flew out in one seat, but right after issuing me a standby ticket, Oakland Southwest attendant Suzanne (wouldn’t give last name) told me Captain Leysath deemed me a “safety risk”. Again: I’m way fat… But I’m not THERE just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I’m seated WITH ARM RESTS DOWN. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who’d already I.d.ed me as “Silent Bob.”
So, @SouthwestAir, go f*** yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no “safety risk” (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?). I was wrongly ejected from the flight (even Suzanne eventually agreed). And f*** your apologetic $100 voucher, @SouthwestAir. Thank God I don’t embarrass easily (bless you, JERSEY GIRL training). But I don’t sulk off either: so everyday, some new f***-you Tweets for @SouthwestAir.
Wanna tell me I’m too wide for the sky? Totally cool. But fair warning, folks: IF YOU LOOK LIKE ME, YOU MAY BE EJECTED FROM @SOUTHWESTAIR.
Yet again, another Hollywood leftist refuses to acknowledge the difference between a right and a privilege. Here’s a hint, Kevin: flying is a privilege, not a right. Purchasing a ticket doesn’t guarantee you the right to use that ticket if you’re unwilling to adhere to published policy.
The Southwest Airlines “Customers of Size” policy has been in place for decades, and clearly states, “Customers who are unable to lower both armrests and/or who compromise any portion of adjacent seating should proactively book the number of seats needed prior to travel.”
We can argue about whether that policy is fair, but not about whether ticket holders must abide by the very rules they agreed to follow when purchasing a ticket.
But Kevin Smith didn’t think the rules applied to him. After all, he’s Kevin Smith, famous director with 1.6 million potential Southwest customers following him on Twitter.
Smith even pointed out that this incident was an especially big deal because people on the plane had “already I.d.ed me as ‘Silent Bob.'” Oh, well if Silent Bob is violating Southwest policy by spilling over the armrest, then by all means, look the other way. One celebrity/fictional character’s ego is obviously more important than the comfort and safety of other passengers.
Right now we only have Kevin Smith’s side of the story, and it’s unclear whether the flight attendant used appropriate discretion in approaching him about her safety concerns. I certainly have no desire to see an overweight person shamed for being fat, and I hope that wasn’t the intention.
But a little personal responsibility goes a long way. If Smith had simply paid for a second seat as required by airline policy, he could have avoided the embarrassing situation. And according to Southwest’s “Customer of Size Q&A,” there’s a 98 percent chance the price of the extra ticket would have been refunded.
Smith went on to complain that because of the airline’s “size-ist policy” he was “being profiled.” I guess flying while fat is the new breaking-and-entering while black. Beer summit, anyone?
He also posted a photo he took of himself on the plane (see above) to prove he was fat, just not fat-fat. However, the photo was only from the shoulders up, leaving it up in the air as to whether Smith’s girth intruded on the adjacent seat.
Flying cattle class is never comfortable. There’s always going to be a snorer with bad breath seated next to you, or some guy pretending his junk is so massive it requires him to spread his legs at a 120 degree angle. But as the Southwest Q&A says:
If a concern exists, we shouldn’t ignore it even if it’s difficult for both parties to discuss. Condoning an unsafe, cramped seating arrangement onboard our aircraft is far more inappropriate than simply questioning a Customer’s fit in our seats.
Are you willing to have your safety compromised by Kevin Smith’s bloated sense of entitlement?