A man travelling from Dallas to Chicago was denied access to a flight due to wearing a t-shirt promoting the Comedy Central sketch-show ‘Broad City’, which read ‘BROAD F****** CITY’.
Daniel Podolsky was flying home after attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, when a Southwest Airlines employee refused him entry to the flight for wearing what they deemed an “offensive t-shirt”.
When Podolsky went to get back on the plane, the gate attendant allegedly stopped him over the language displayed on the t-shirt he was wearing. Podolsky cited his ‘freedom of speech’, but was told it would be against Southwest’s rules by wearing an offensive shirt, so he couldn’t get back on the aircraft.
Podolsky refused to comply with the request and was ultimately left stranded in St. Louis as the flight left for Chicago.
“It’s only when I got back on the plane when it was gonna take off, ya know, you have this much space, you’re gonna take your jacket off because it’s hot,” he explained to Fox 2 . “I took my jacket off, so he sent someone to remove me from the flight.”
Podolsky’s own cell phone video shows him being asked by a Southwest employee to change the shirt, or even to turn it inside-out, and lastly to do ‘anything’ not to display the language on the shirt. Each time he answers ‘nope’.
“In the moment I was caught off-guard by this suddenly being an issue just as we were about to take off, and I lost my cool a little bit.” Podolsky told 1080 KRLD. “It saddens me to know that people can’t be tolerant of self expression.”
He was later allowed to board a flight to New York, his ultimate destination, after changing his shirt.