‘Super Size Me’ Director Was 53

Morgan Spurlock, a documentary filmmaker who captured his own psychological and physical symptoms from eating McDonald’s every day for a month in the Oscar-nominated 2004 feature “Super Size Me,” died Thursday in upstate New York due to complications of cancer. He was 53.

Spurlock’s family confirmed his death.

“It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” says Craig Spurlock, who worked with his brother on several projects. “Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas and generosity. Today the world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him.”

Spurlock rose to prominence for “Super Size Me,” in which he conducted an experiment involving consuming only food from McDonald’s for a 30-day stretch. The rules also included the stipulation that Spurlock could not refuse the “super-size” option if prompted during the transaction. The filmmaker also exercised less to match the average American’s physical activity. By the end of the experiment, Spurlock claimed that he gained 25 pounds and suffered from depression and liver dysfunction.

“Super Size Me” captured the zeitgeist when it released in 2004, grossing $22 million at the global box office and sparking a conversation about how the fast food industry encourage poor nutrition among the general public. McDonald’s discontinued its “super-size” option in the time following its release. Though the doc is still utilized as an educational aide in some school health classes, it has also sparked debate over its accuracy in the years since, with some criticism citing Spurlock refusing to publicly share his diet log from filming.

Born Nov. 7, 1970, in Parkersburg, W. Va., Spurlock was raised under the Methodist faith, though he identified as agnostic later in life. He graduated with a BFA in film from New York University in 1993.

In the 13 years following “Super Size Me,” Spurlock gained additional success under his production company Warrior Poets, producing and directing nearly 70 documentary films and television series. Spurlock’s wide-ranging works were fueled by addressing controversial and topical subjects. His projects covered issues including the U.S. war in Afghanistan (“Where In the the World Is Osama Bin Laden”), minimum wage and immigrant labor (“30 Days”); consumer susceptibility to marketing (The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”); trophy hunting and body modification (“7 Deadly Sins”); elder care and gambling (“Morgan Spurlock Inside Man”) and corporate pressure on family farms (“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!”).

In December 2017, as the #MeToo movement continued to gain traction, Spurlock wrote a lengthy social media post saying he was “part of the problem.” In the post, he admitted to serial infidelities and said he had settled an allegation of sexual harassment from a former assistant. He also said he had been accused of rape in college. The post effectively ended Spurlock’s documentary career, as Spurlock stepped down from Warrior Poets shortly after.

Spurlock is survived by his two children, Laken and Kallen; mother, Phyllis Spurlock; father Ben (Iris); brothers Craig (Carolyn) and Barry (Buffy); multiple nieces and nephews; and former spouses, Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *