Kevin Smith vs. Southwest Airlines

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Kevin Smith--director of sophomoric classics like Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back--launched into a Twitter tirade against Southwest Airlines after being ejected from a flight en route to Oakland from Burbank. The reason? Smith was apparently "too overweight to fit in the seats." Southwest, like many other airlines, has specific regulations regarding the size of its patrons, so far that "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.” But according to Smith's Twitter rant, the director was deemed a "safety risk," despite the fact that his arm rests were down in accordance with Southwest's policy. Foster Kamer at Gawker covers the highlights of Smith's "Tweakout":

So, @SouthwestAir, go fuck 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 fuck 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 fuck-you Tweets for @SouthwestAir."And then, he kept going. "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."

The public reaction to the incident has been overwhelmingly on the side of Smith. Sarah Libby at True/Slant notes that this isn't the first time Southwest has come under fire for the inappropriate removal of a passenger from a flight: Southwest "had to issue a similar tail-between-its-legs apology after kicking off a mother and her toddler back in Fall 2009 after the 2-year-old started yelling 'Go! Plane! Go!'"

Only Dan Riehl sees a potentially positive outcome: "Does this mean Michael Moore will be spending more time at home and out of the public eye?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.