Kevin Smith: Too Fat to Fly; PR Nightmare for Southwest

Yesterday afternoon, my inbox started lighting up wildly with emails about writer, director, and actor Kevin Smith being kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for being too fat. Smith, who's got 1.6 million followers on Twitter, began tweeting furiously about the incident (right fucking on):
The Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back director said he was booted by the captain after he was seated because he was considered a "safety risk."

"I know I'm fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?" he wrote, maintaining, "I broke no regulation, offered no 'safety risk' (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?).

"Thank God I don't embarrass easily (bless you, Jersey Girl training)," he continued. "But I don't sulk off either ..." So he promised more tweets zinging the airline in the coming days for telling him "I'm too wide for the sky."

Smith said he refused a $100 voucher offered by Southwest and eventually got on another Southwest flight. He then tweeted a photo of himself on the plane with his cheeks puffed out, writing, "Look how fat I am on your plane! Quick! Throw me off!"
Kate Harding says, quite rightly, "I am so sorry that Kevin Smith, human being, had to go through that. But quite frankly, a part of me is really happy that Kevin Smith, Famous Person With 1.6 Million Twitter Followers, is holding an airline's feet to the fire over this bullshit." And Smith is keenly aware of his dual role, too:
(1/2) Hey @SouthwestAir? Fuck making it right for me just 'cause I have a platform. I sat next to a big girl who was chastised for not buy-
(2/2) ing an extra ticket because "all passengers deserve their space." Fucking flight wasn't even full! Fuck your size-ist policy.
Smith bought two seats, but flew home in one, "with the armrests down," just to prove a point.

Which, let's be honest, is not something everyone can afford to do. I am terrified to fly anywhere these days, in fear that the same thing will happen. Embarrassment would be the least of my worries if I get stuck in another city and told out of nowhere I've got to buy a second seat just to get home.

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