When Wide Bodies Can’t Ride on Wide Body Planes


Hollywood problems: when large doesn't always mean "in charge."
Actor, Quinton Aaron at the 11th Annual Living Legends Of Aviation Awards, Beverly Hilton Hotel. Photo: Pacific Coast News

Quinton Aaron of “The Blind Side” was blind-sided by US Airways after the airline noted that his 550lb. wideness was taking up too much room on a plane and was told to prematurely abort his flight to Rochester, NY.  In other words: “You’re too fat to fly, guy!”

We all know this “don’t-dare-sit-next-to-me-horror-movie-like” experience: You’re sitting on a plane when you look up and notice a Louie Anderson sized person lumbering down the aisle. Your eyes become as wide as their stomachs.  Your brain screams out like a flesh-eating zombie’s future victim: “No…no…NO!  He’s coming this way…he’s getting closer…closer…h-h-h-he is…he’s sitting next to me!  Arrrrrgh!!”

Then again—a plane passenger’s nightmare is a Hollywood casting director’s dream; as in being fat = a fat paycheck.  For proof, see “Mike and Molly” or Jorge Garcia in “Lost” or John Goodman in everything!  But for the most part, being fat is like an actress growing old: the parts become fewer and fewer…if there are parts at all. For example, what makes moolah these days are fit action heroes (“Captain America” is kicking it!) and you won’t see any fat action heroes named “Fatman” or “Captain Corpulent.”  Also, leading actors/actresses are, for the most part, drop dead gorgeous, while fat stars are known to drop dead prematurely (R.I.P. the sorely missed John Pinette, John Candy and James Gandolfini).  

Kevin Smith tweeted about his experience with Southwest airlines in 2010.
Kevin Smith tweeted about his experience with Southwest airlines in 2010.

Yes, Hollywood Land is Weird Land: Being overweight can get actors a juicy part but also being extra-large can give them an early (and extra-large) grave.  Perhaps this is why the once very rotund Jonah Hill looked in the mirror, got tired of not seeing his neck and now sees major money.  When Mr. Hill was obese, he probably thought, “Damn.  If I was skinny and got fat for a role, I could get an Academy Award—like DeNiro did for “Raging Bull.”  Or what Christian Bale did for “American Hustle.”  (That’s another Hollywood weird-ism: purposely putting on weight will get you “critical acclaim”—even though there are plenty of fat actors who can play a fat part very nicely and/or would kill to finally lose weight so they can play a fit person—or action hero.)

Quinton Aaron, 550 Lbs, asked to deplane a US Airways flight for being to large.
Quinton Aaron, 550 Lbs, asked to deplane a US Airways flight for being to large.

But–maybe being kicked off a plane is a good thing for a hefty human.  After all, if Mr. Aaron weighing 550lbs. isn’t a wake-up call for him to shed some pounds, maybe being told to get off of a plane so the plane can fly will send him flying into a gym–or away from a plate filled with fatty food.  This not-so-subtle message by an airline to lose weight was also conveyed to a too-pudgy for-the-room director Kevin Smith via Southwest Airlines in 2010; who also “nudged” him off the plane.  Mr. Smith even admitted he was “way too fat” and a year later, noted he lost 65lbs!  Let’s hope Mr. Aaron can do the same.

Now if only Chris Christie could permanently get kicked off all planes…

What do you think?

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