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Kevin Smith, big in Hollywood

Film director Kevin Smith has paid tribute to the quality that made him a success – his girth. Fat was the making of him, he says in a new book. It was also the quality that briefly made him famous outside the world of cinema.

In 2010 he was thrown off a flight with SouthWest Airlines when the staff told him he was too fat for his seat. Smith at the time had 1.6 million followers on Twitter and immediately publicised the issue.

Unfortunately most of the subsequent media coverage concentrated on Smith’s size rather than the airline’s treatment of him. One newspaper even headlined a picture of Smith with the words "Blimp landed".

"I learned first-hand that fat people are the recipients of the last remaining socially acceptable prejudice," he wrote. "Racism and sexism will get you ostracised in more enlightened communities, but you can mock fat people all you want."

The incident and the coverage formed the worst period of his life, he admits, although it made him face up to the issue that had dominated his life – his weight. "Fat made me what I am – as a person and as a film-maker," he wrote. "If I’d been a thin kid, girls would have just landed in my lap. But fatties don't get picked first – in sport, as a boyfriend, anything. So we have to work harder and try to give something else."

The book is called Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From A Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, and is published by Titan Books.

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