Newsmakers: Feuds

What Kevin Smith, Helena Guergis, Star Wars fans and Conan O’Brien all have in common

Kevin Smith vs. Southwest
Newsmakers: FeudsThe U.S. airline booted the cult filmmaker off a flight because he was too fat to fit into only one seat. The plane’s employees told the Cop Out director his girth might ruin the experience for his seatmate and prevent “a timely exit from the aircraft.” Smith, a self-proclaimed “fatty,” used his Twitter feed to stir up fan outrage, saying Southwest messed with “the wrong sedentary processed-foods eater!” After hearing from angry Smith fans, airline representatives apologized to him. But they’d never have treated Alfred Hitchcock this way.

White Stripes vs. u.s. Air Force
Newsmakers: FeudsRock stars are always protesting when politicians use their songs, but only the White Stripes have the guts to take on the U.S. military. Band members Meg and Jack White decried the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s Super Bowl commercial, which used music eerily similar to their song Fell in Love With a Girl “to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support.” The air force pulled the ad from its website. Who knew such a powerful fighting force could be defeated by two musicians from Detroit?

Marcia vs. Jan
Newsmakers: FeudsA planned reunion of the kids from The Brady Bunch was canceled due to sibling rivalry: Maureen McCormick (Marcia) and Eve Plumb (Jan) “did not want to be on the same show.” Plumb is still apparently angry that McCormick’s memoir, Here’s the Story, boosted its sales by implying the two actresses had a brief lesbian relationship. She should bear in mind that the last time she refused to do a Brady Bunch reunion, she was replaced by another actor: Geri Reischl, now known as the “fake Jan.”

Conan vs. NBC
Conan O’Brien’s brief stint as host of The Tonight Show ended with NBC giving him a big cash payment to end his contract, and several episodes featuring expensive props charged to NBC. The catch was, O’Brien could not make disparaging remarks about the people who fired him. But NBC neglected to make such a deal with his sidekick, Andy Richter, who went on Live! With Regis and Kelly to blast NBC’s “short-sighted” planning. Maybe on Conan’s upcoming comedy tour, he’ll be contractually obligated to let Richter do all the talking.

Eric Massa vs. Rahm Emanuel
U.S. Democratic congressman Eric Massa, who resigned his seat for “health reasons” before it came to light he had groped male staffers, claimed he was “set up” by Obama’s ruthless chief of staff. Massa, who voted against Obama’s health care plan, said a naked Emanuel threatened him in the showers at the congressional gym. But when he was invited on Glenn Beck’s show, Massa changed his story, saying he was not forced out. Which can only mean that the Emanuel conspiracy, which has produced so many obsessive articles about Emanuel, has gotten to Massa.

SRC vs. Italians
Radio-Canada aired a comedy sketch in which a stereotypical Italian family, the Jambonis, appears on a game show. The Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association complained to the CRTC and demanded an apology for the “racist” sketch, where the family threatens to put a hit on the host and talk about how influential they are in the Quebec construction industry. CIBPA’s vice-president, Giuliano D’Andrea, argued there must be “limits to freedom of expression.” But don’t take that as a threat.

Helena Guergis vs. Charlottetown
Newsmakers: FeudsAfter the federal Tory cabinet minister swore at Charlottetown airport security personnel and said they’d cause her to be “stuck in this s–thole,” an anonymous resident got revenge for the city by publicizing her outburst in a letter, forcing her to apologize. Guergis had been in the P.E.I. capital announcing a federal initiative she claimed would help more women and girls in P.E.I. “reach their full potential.” Which apparently means getting out of there as quickly as possible.

The Fans VS. George Lucas
At last, a movie about how much Star Wars fans hate the Star Wars creator for Ewoks, Jar Jar Binks and more. Alexandre Philippe’s The People vs. George Lucas interviews many disappointed fans, including a band that sings George Lucas Raped Our Childhood. But Philippe, himself a big fan of the original movies, says he still loves Lucas and wants him to “return to his early experimental roots.” You know, like movies about space princesses and robots.