Feb 15th 2010 By: Laura Hudson
Southwest Airlines found itself in the midst of an internet firestorm after ejecting director and comics writer Kevin Smith from a flight heading from Oakland to Burbank as they only had one seat available -- and the airline determined that Smith's girth meant that he would need to purchase two seats.
As will probably not surprise you at all, Smith did not go quietly -- on the internet, at least. He quickly communicated his outrage to his 1.6 million Twitter followers
, who unleashed a torrent of angry responses on the airline after Smith detailed the events of his removal from the flight:
Dear @, 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, @, go f--k yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no "safety risk" (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?). I waswrongly ejected from the flight (even Suzanne eventually agreed). And f--k your apologetic $100 voucher, @. Thank God I don't embarrass easily (bless you, JERSEY GIRL training). But I don't sulk off either: so everyday, some new f--k-you Tweets for @.
When Southwest posted an explanation
on their blog in response to the public relation nightmare, Smith continued to respond on Twitter...
So your apology is "Sorry, sir. But you ARE kinda fat..."? I flew out AND back IN ONE SEAT, YOU PIECES OF S--T! ... F--k making it right for me just 'cause I have a platform. I sat next to a big girl who was chastised for not buying an extra ticket because "all passengers deserve their space."
... and later followed up with a fuller explanation on his podcast
, if you somehow need more information about the incident beyond the voluminous tweets he volunteered on his feed. He adds that he's "waiting to talk to @" now, and it wouldn't surprise us if he did. And if he truly fit as comfortably into his seat as he says he did, we can't entirely blame him -- particularly since he's in the unusual position of being famous enough and loud enough to make companies listen.
What do you think of his reaction to Southwest? Appropriate outrage or going too far?