Actor-director Kevin Smith has made a career by saying nothing as the character Silent Bob in hit movies such as "Clerks" and "Mallrats." But the comedian has had plenty to say on Twitter after Southwest Airlines removed him from a flight Saturday for being too fat.
Smith, 39, has responded with the ultimate "tweak out," flooding his Twitter page with angry messages against the airline.
His first tweet read, "Dear @SouthwestAir I know I'm fat, but was [the] captain […] really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?"
In accordance with Southwest's "customers of size" policy, Smith had purchased two tickets but then stood by for an earlier flight, which had one seat remaining. That is when the airline forced him off the plane.
Smith was irate, tweeting, "So, @SouthwestAir, go f*** yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no "safety risk" (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?)" When he later boarded another flight, he posted a picture of himself in the seat, writing, "Hey @SouthwestAir Look how fat I am on your plane! Quick! Throw me off!"
Upon landing in Burbank from Oakland, he tweeted, "Hey @SouthwestAir I've landed in Burbank. Don't worry: wall of the plane was opened & I was airlifted out while Richard Simmons supervised."
The airline is not laughing. They tweeted multiple apologies and offered Smith a $100 voucher. He refused the coupon and responded with another tweet: "F*** your apologetic $100 voucher, @SouthwestAir"
Southwest Airlines said its "customers of size" policy has been on the books for 25 years. Most of the airlines have similar rules for safety and the comfort of other passengers. But few carriers enforce them.
"The larger people are definitely being discriminated against but the problem is the airlines are just hurting for cash, they have to come up with all different ways to make money these days," air travel expert John E. DiScala said. "And the seats are getting smaller and the people are getting bigger."
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance is calling for a Southwest boycott. It issued a statement urging "people of size to seek out and travel airlines that do not have such discriminatory policies."
Meanwhile, Smith continued to tweet his disdain for the airline and looked for an alternative airline. One tweet read, "Dear Other Airlines (including [the fictitious] Oceanic, sans Flight 815): I'm in the market for a flight east this Thurs. Which one of you likes fat people?"