Kevin Smith Issues Final Words on Southwest Airlines Incident—in 24 Video Installments

Filmmaker Kevin Smith virtually turned his ongoing dispute with Southwest Airlines into a feature film, using his SModcast video site to post what he called his Final Words on the incident — 24 installments worth, averaging about two-and-a-half minutes but ranging anywhere from just under two minutes to just under four minutes, and also ranging from rambling on about random topics and wandering off on tangents, to pure sarcasm, to just plain funny.

Installment No. 1 of the 24 is embedded below, and some of the highlights from Smith’s latest work, which was definitely more enjoyable than Jersey Girl (he actually pokes fun at his own film at one point), follow:

From installment No. 1, on why he was responding via SModcast instead of appearing on television: “I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t too fat for the frame. I can’t leave the house because there are 7-10 vehicles outside with cameras. It’s shameful that we’re still talking about this. Larry King offered to bump Sean Penn and Celine Dion.”

From No. 2, on the two blog responses posted by Southwest: “The second blog is definitely more heartfelt than the first blog. Good Morning America showed up at my front door.”

From No 3: “Going on TV turns it into something it was never meant to be. I’m a creature of the Internet, and this makes more sense.”

From No. 4: “I was trying to put together a cool career where people would remember me for the movies. Now? Maybe this.”

From No. 5, referring to Christi Day, who posted the airline’s first blog response: “I’m not going to attack her writing. I made Jersey Girl, for heaven’s sakes.”

From No. 6: “People have a weird conception of money if they think I can afford a jet. The country’s fat now.”

From No. 9: “When you grow up fat, you learn how to navigate through a thin person’s world without calling attention to yourself. No fat person wants to stick out. Oftentimes, it is like a hippo hiding behind a palm tree.”

From No. 12, referring to another person on the plane who was actually larger than Smith but was not asked to leave: “I’m not going to throw a fellow fatty under the bus, or the plane, as it might be.”

From No. 16: “As I get on in life and I get fatter in life, I have to say goodbye to luxuries of the thin, like Southwest Airlines. I’ve got no business trying to swim with the normies on Southwest Airlines.”

From No. 20: “200 pounds is a good barometer: This is where fat begins on Southwest Airlines.”

From No. 21, referring to Southwest: “Let the thin folks have it, man, that’s fine. They can have that, and they can have tennis.”

From the last installment, No. 24: “When I was sitting there tweeting, I never thought it would become this.”

Southwest also posted a second blog response, this one by Linda Rutherford:

I had the chance this afternoon to speak directly with director Kevin Smith. I let him know that in my 18 years here at Southwest, I have never dealt with a situation like what has been unfolding in the last 48 hours. I let Kevin know we have refunded his airfare. I told him we made a mistake in trying to board him as a standby passenger and then remove him. And I told him we were sorry.

Now, 48 hours later, after talking to many involved, we know there were several things going on that day and that our employees were doing their best to get his flight out safely and on time, including finding seats for everyone and trying to accommodate standby passengers. 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.

Although I’m not here to debate the decision our employees made, I can tell you that I, for one, have learned a lot today. The communication among our employees was not as sharp as it should have been, and it’s apparent that Southwest could have handled this situation differently. Thanks, Kevin, for your passion around this topic. You were a reasonable guy during our conversation.

Southwest, like most carriers, has a policy to assist passengers who need two seats onboard an aircraft. The policy is an important one for the comfort and safety of all passengers aboard a plane, and we stand by that 25-year-old policy. This has our attention, and we will be reviewing how and when this delicate policy is implemented.