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The director of “Super Size Me” was 53 years old

The director of “Super Size Me” was 53 years old


Morgan Spurlock, a documentary filmmaker who captured his own psychological and physical symptoms after eating McDonald's every day for a month in the Oscar-nominated 2004 feature film “Super Size Me,” died Thursday in North Carolina. New York State following cancer. He was 53 years old.

Spurlock's family confirmed his death.

“It was a sad day when 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, his ideas and his generosity. Today the world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I'm so proud to have worked with him.

Spurlock became known for “Super Size Me”, in which he conducted an experiment involving eating only McDonald's food for 30 days. The rules also provided that Spurlock could not refuse the “super-size” option if asked during the transaction. The filmmaker also exercised less to match the physical activity of the average American. At the end of the experiment, Spurlock claimed he gained 25 pounds and suffered from depression and liver dysfunction.

“Super Size Me” captured the zeitgeist when it was released in 2004, grossing $22 million at the worldwide box office and sparking a conversation about how the fast food industry encourages poor diets among the General public. McDonald's discontinued its “super-size” option shortly after its release. Although the document is still used as a teaching aid in some school health classes, it has also sparked debate over its accuracy in the years since, with some critics citing Spurlock's refusal to publicly share his diet diary during the filming. Spurlock later revealed that he suffered from alcohol abuse – a factor that some believe likely influenced the doctor's findings of liver dysfunction.

Born on November 7, 1970, in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Spurlock was raised in the Methodist faith, although he identified as an agnostic later in life. He received a BFA in film from New York University in 1993.

In the 13 years since “Super Size Me,” Spurlock has enjoyed additional success under his production company Warrior Poets, producing and directing nearly 70 documentary films and television series. Spurlock's wide-ranging works have been fueled by tackling controversial and timely topics. His projects covered topics such as the U.S. war in Afghanistan (“Where the World is Osama Bin Laden”), minimum wage and immigrant labor (“30 Days”); consumer sensitivity to marketing (“The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”); trophy hunting and body modification (“7 deadly sins”); elderly 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 that post, he admitted to serial infidelities and said he had settled a sexual harassment allegation from a former aide. He also said he was accused of rape in college. The post effectively ended Spurlock's documentary career, as Spurlock left 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); several nieces and nephews; and ex-wives, Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein.




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