Kevin Smith, a.k.a. "Silent Bob," was kicked off of a Southwest Air flight because he did "not fit safely and comfortably in one seat," according to the airline. Smith tweeted a series of angry messages, including this photo with the message: "Hey @SouthwestAir! Look how fat I am on your plane! Quick! Throw me off!"
Smith took the dispute to his Twitter page on Sunday, tweeting, "Wanna tell me I'm too wide for the sky? Totally cool. But fair warning, folks: In you look like me you may be ejected from @southwestair."
The Internet brawl took quickly to the masses, who quickly replied to the "Clerks" director via Twitter with support. One user with the Twitter handle "Praxilla" called Smith the "MLK of fatties," to which he replied, "I have a Dream. And two lunches (meatball parm and Trix). And a couple of Twinkees. And a Diet Coke."
The heated controversy reached Southwest Airlines quickly, who also received tweets from users regarding the Smith incident. The traffic generated by Twitter forced the airlines to tweet, "I read every single tweet that comes into this account, and take every tweet seriously. We'll handle the @thatkevinsmith issue asap."
The airline issued an apology from its own Twitter account and later in a statement on its media Web site;. They also stated that their Customer of Size policy requires "passengers that can not fit safely and comfortably in one seat to purchase an additional seat while traveling."
Both Smith and the airline acknowledge that he had originally purchased two Southwest seats on a flight to Burbank but was on standby for an earlier flight where only one seat was available.
Southwest accommodated Smith on another flight and issued him a $100 Southwest travel voucher, but it did not quiet his public outrage online.
He tweeted later on Sunday, "But, by their own guidelines, I was not, in fact, 2 Fat 2 Fly: the arm rests went down and I could buckly my seat belt w/o an extender. So...?"
Smith is currently still tweeting up a storm on the issue.