By now, you should not require proof that the world has changed, so witness the bizarre case of Film Director Kevin Smith, who was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for being “way fat”. The pilot, it seems, deemed Smith a hazard to the stability of the aircraft.
Smith raised a stink about the incident on Twitter , saying “I’m way fat. … If you look like me, you may be ejected from Southwest Air.” Thing is, Smith has 1.5 million Twitter followers.
After a storm of angry online comments, the airline issued a “heartfelt apology” to Smith in a statement on its Web site. Too little, too late it seems.
Smith issued a rebuttal (language warning) and pleaded about moving on. “But, folks? Tomorrow? Let’s Tweet about other stuff, shall we? This is starting to taste mediciney and fruitless.”
Of course, the media wasn’t quite so willing to let go. Smith brilliantly turned the tables and posted a number of SModcasts online, allowing traditional media to pick and choose their clip, controlling the message in a unique way.
Brilliant. Original. The future.
Clearly, Southwest doesn’t understand the power of social media. As I said, the world has changed.