Somewhere, the marketing executives behind Cop Out are laughing. Or rubbing their hands together in greedy anticipation. Or praying that none of the recent fat flap between the noted indie director and Southwest Airlines rubs off negatively on their upcoming buddy comedy. In a move that seems more based on friendship than box office bankability, star Bruce Willis got his buddy Kevin Smith to helm a film he had nothing to do with. He didn’t create the jaunty police laugher. He didn’t craft the script (something he has done on every previous film he’s made). He basically came on as a filmmaker for hire. Now, thanks to weight and the way in which the flying industry function circa 2010, Smith has become part of a plateau he rarely frequents - the tabloid-rich realm of TMZ
On the 19 February episode of Bill Maher’s Real Time, the jocular host took the noted filmmaker to task, arguing that fat people basically need to nut up or shut up. In essence, Maher’s point was that, if you normally have to abide by a surreal set of size rules (obese flyers frequently have to buy two seats to travel on major carriers these days) you shouldn’t complain when you try and circumvent them. Specifically, Smith had two seats booked on another flight, saw he could take an earlier standby departure, and then Tweeted about being asked to leave the plane when the pilot declared him - and his one seat - a security risk. The entire episode became one of those drawn out slow news day featured stories of the 24 hour cycle, pulling in everyone from the pro-porcine movement (which Maher also chastised) to those who think all chubby people ‘suck’.