Daniel Podolsky was innocently on his way home from South By Southwest yesterday, clad in his spiffy new T-shirt promoting Comedy Central's Broad City—only doing so with the show's customary vulgarity, a la "Broad F---ing City." But when he tried to re-board his plane after a stop in St. Louis, having taken his jacket off, a Southwest gate agent questioned him about it. Podolsky says that in short order he was booted off the plane. "It just happened so fast," he says. "Within 30 seconds the flight was gone." He tells his tale of woe to Fox2Now, which asked if he was given the chance to change his shirt. Podolsky says no, though "I mean I gladly would have done so." The slight problem here is the very video of the incident that Podolsky himself gave Fox. In it, the exchange goes a little differently:
Gate agent: Can you change the shirt?”
Gate agent: "Can you put the jacket on and leave it on through the flight?"
Gate agent: "Can you put the shirt on inside out?"
Gate agent: "Is there anything you can do not to display the shirt because at this point we can’t allow you to go."
Podolsky: "I have freedom of speech."
Gate agent: "I know you do…"
Podolsky: "Really it’s not bothering anyone."
Gate agent: "I can show you in our contract of carriage that you can’t wear any shirts that says offensive."
Podolsky: "Can we take a poll?"
No poll, and as Mark Shrayber at Jezebel puts it, the First Amendment Podolsky so fondly trotted out "does not allow a dude to wear a vulgar shirt on a plane just because he might know how to say "uh, free speech" in the snottiest tone possible." Southwest stood by its employee. Podolsky was eventually allowed on a flight home last night, notes the Consumerist—after he changed his shirt.