Film director Kevin Smith has been removed from a Southwest Airlines flight, after apparently failing the ‘Persons of Size’ criteria set by the operator.
The director – creator of Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Clerks – retorted on Twitter, arguing the airline had merely kicked him off the plane for being “too fat”.
Mr Smith had originally purchased two tickets for a flight from Oakland to Los Angeles, in line with a controversial Southwest policy. However, deciding to take up an offer of standby on an earlier flight, Mr Smith was seated on a plane with only one seat available.
He was then ejected from the flight.
In response Mr Smith – also known for his portrayal of Silent Bob – Tweeted: “I know I’m fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?
“I broke no regulation, offered no ‘safety risk’ (What was I going to do, roll on a fellow passenger?)”
Following the incident the airline offered to refund the passenger’s airfare. Mr Smith declined the offer after the airlines “failure” to admit he wasn’t “too fat to fly”.
In response Southwest Airlines employee Linda Rutherford explained: “The Captain did not single Kevin out to be removed, but he did ask that the boarding be completed quickly.
“At that time, our employees made the decision to remove Kevin after a quick judgment call that he might have needed more than one seat for his comfort and those seated next to him.”
Southwest argue the 25-year-old ‘Persons of Size’ policy is important for the comfort and safety of all passengers aboard a plane. However, the airline admitted the most recent controversy had caught their attention, with Southwest now “reviewing how and when this delicate policy is implemented”.
The controversy has significantly raise Smith’s profile just in time for the release of his new film – Cop Out – which stars Bruce Willis.