Super Size Me Director Morgan Spurlock Dead At 53

Morgan Spurlock, director of the 2004 documentary "Super Size Me," has died at 53 of complications from cancer. In a statement reported by Variety, his brother Craig Spurlock said, "It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan. 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."


"Super Size Me" was the defining film of Morgan Spurlock's career, in which he chronicled a 30-day stint of eating nothing but McDonald's meals. His self-imposed rule during recording included one where he wouldn't allow himself to refuse an upsell of a regular value meal to an extra-large super-size one, meaning he'd have to consume any additional calories included in the meal by default. He would eventually go on to eat nine of the upgraded meals by the end of the 30 days.

By the time his experiment concluded, Spurlock claimed his weight had gone up by 25 pounds and that he'd experienced liver issues and depression, with his physician saying that he'd become "addicted" to fast food. He also experienced heart palpitations during that time. The film was well-received by critics and audiences but also criticized for its sensationalism; its conclusion reinforced the general sentiment that a fast food-reliant diet has negative effects on a person's overall well-being. McDonald's would go on to remove the Supersize option from its menu in 2004.


Spurlock faced controversy throughout his career

Years after "Super Size Me" was released, in 2017, Morgan Spurlock posted a flurry of thoughts on social media platform X, then known as Twitter, related to the #MeToo movement, including confessions of how he was part of sexual abuse culture based off his past behavior. Couched within those statements was an admission that he had been "consistently been drinking since the age of 13" and hadn't "been sober for more than a week in 30 years" (via TwitLonger).


Later, critics would point out that the liver results of his "Super Size Me" experiment could have been tainted due to the continued pattern of alcohol abuse. After the 2017 online confessional, Spurlock stepped down from his New York-based production company, Warrior Poets.

His other body of work included films such as "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?," "Mansome," and "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!," which was released in 2017. "Super Size Me 2" would be the final documentary of Spurlock's career. 

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