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Morgan Spurlock, an American documentary filmmaker Died 53



Morgan Spurlock died at 53

Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker famous for his documentary “Super Size Me,” passed away on Thursday in upstate New York. He was 53 years old.

Spurlock gained widespread attention for his film, in which he documented the physical and mental effects of eating McDonald’s food every day for a month. The documentary nominated for an Oscar in 2004. Spurlock’s death attributed to complications of cancer.

Morgan Spurlock’s family confirmed his passing. Craig Spurlock, who collaborated with his brother on various projects, expressed their sadness. He mentioned that Morgan Spurlock contributed a lot through his creativity, thoughts, and kindness. Craig described Morgan Spurlock as a true creative genius and a remarkable person. He expressed pride in having worked alongside his brother.

Spurlock’s Career:

Before gaining fame as a filmmaker, Spurlock recognized as a playwright. He won awards for his play “The Phoenix” at the New York International Fringe Festival in 1999 and the Route 66 American Playwriting Competition in 2000. In 2004, he co-founded Warrior Poets, a production studio that became the hub for his filmmaking endeavors.


Before his ventures in filmmaking, Spurlock created “I Bet You Will” for MTV. Originally, it was a popular webcast featuring short episodes where regular people did daring stunts for cash.

Some examples include eating a whole jar of mayonnaise for $235, consuming a “worm burrito” for $265, and taking shots of various substances like corn oil, Pepto-Bismol, lemon juice, and hot sauce for $450. The webcast’s success led MTV to buy and broadcast the show, with Spurlock as the host.

Morgan Spurlock with Geniuses record
Morgan Spurlock with Geniuses record

Spurlock inspired by several documentary films, including “Brother’s Keeper,” “Hoop Dreams,” “The Thin Blue Line,” “Roger and Me,” “Harlan County USA,” and “The Last Waltz.” Among them, he regarded “Brother’s Keeper” as the greatest documentary ever made.

During a screening of the movie “Catfish,” Spurlock approached the producers and praised it as the best fake documentary he had ever seen.

“Super Size Me” & Macdonald’s relationship:

Spurlock’s documentary “Super Size Me” hit theaters in the United States on May 7, 2004. The idea for the film struck him while he was at his parents’ home for Thanksgiving. While watching TV, he caught a news segment about a lawsuit filed against McDonald’s by two teenagers. Who claimed the fast-food giant was responsible for their obesity.


The film made on a modest budget of $65,000 but became a massive success, raking in $22 million. It documented Spurlock’s own experiment of consuming only McDonald’s food for a month and the subsequent effects on his health. As shedding light on the fast-food industry’s impact on public health.

Morgan Spurlock with Macdonald's Burger.
Morgan Spurlock with Macdonald’s Burger.

The film “Super Size Me” shows an experiment conducted by Morgan Spurlock in 2003. He ate three meals a day exclusively from McDonald’s for 30 days, following certain rules.

One of these rules was that he wouldn’t turn down the “super-size” option if offered. But he wouldn’t ask for it himself. This led to a diet with double the calories recommended by the USDA.

During the experiment, Morgan Spurlock significantly reduced his physical activity to match the average American’s exercise habits. By the end of the 30 days, he gained 25 pounds, felt bloated, experienced liver problems, and suffered from depression. His doctors likened the effects of his high-calorie diet to severe binge alcoholism.

However, there have been questions raised about whether his liver problems were solely caused by his McDonald’s diet. Especially considering his history of alcohol consumption.


After the project, it took Spurlock over a year to return to his normal weight with the help of his then-girlfriend, now ex-wife. Alexandra Jamieson, and her “detox diet,” which later inspired her book “The Great American Detox Diet.”

“Super Size Me” received critical acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Spurlock also won the first Writers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary Screenplay.

In response to Spurlock’s documentary, Tom Naughton created “Fat Head.” Which challenges some of the claims made in “Super Size Me.” Naughton pointed out discrepancies in Spurlock’s calorie and fat counts and criticized Spurlock’s decision not to release his food log.

Unlike Spurlock, Naughton published a detailed list of everything he ate during his own fast-food month on his website.


Exploring Morgan Spurlock’s Other Endeavors:

  1. In 2008, Spurlock signed a deal with Fox Television Studios.
  2. He initially planned to create a documentary film based on Chris Mooney’s book “The Republican War on Science” but later gave up the rights in 2008.
  3. Spurlock appeared in the horror film “Drive Thru,” released on DVD on May 29, 2007. The movie is about a fictional fast food restaurant where the mascot comes to life and starts killing people.
  4. He hosted “50 Documentaries to See Before You Die” on Current TV, which premiered on August 1, 2011.
  5. Spurlock delivered the graduation commencement speech for the MBA Business program at Sonoma State University on May 28, 2011.
  6. His half-hour documentary series “A Day in the Life,” focusing on notable individuals like Richard Branson and, premiered on Hulu in mid-August 2011.
  7. Spurlock directed an episode of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series titled “The Dotted Line,” exploring the world of sports agents. It premiered on ESPN on October 11, 2011.
  8. In 2011, Spurlock gave a TED talk titled “The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold.”
  9. He presented a comedy show called “Morgan Spurlock’s New Britannia” on Sky Atlantic in the UK. Which highlighting cultural differences between the UK and the US.
  10. Spurlock wrote a brief foreword for Martin Lindstrom’s 2011 book “Brandwashed.”
  11. His documentary “Mansome” was announced as a Spotlight selection for the Tribeca Film Festival on March 8, 2012. It explores male identity through grooming habits.
  12. Spurlock directed the 3D concert film “One Direction: This Is Us,” featuring the boy band One Direction. Which released on August 30, 2013, by TriStar Pictures.

Spurlock’s Diverse Portfolio:

In December 2017, Morgan Spurlock wrote a blog post in which he admitted to engaging in what he described as a history of sexual misconduct.

Amidst the #MeToo movement, Spurlock acknowledged his role in perpetuating the problem, stating. “I’ve come to understand after months of these revelations, that I am not some innocent bystander, I am also a part of the problem.” He revealed instances of misconduct, including cheating on past partners and settling a sexual harassment allegation.

Additionally, Spurlock disclosed that he had been accused of sexual assault during his college years.

Following the publication of his blog post, Spurlock stepped down from his position at Warrior Poets, the production company he had founded in 2004. Consequently, this marked the end of his career as a documentary filmmaker.

In 2019, Spurlock spoke to the Associated Press, expressing a moment of realization regarding his actions. He stated, “For me, there was a moment of kind of realization as somebody who is a truth teller and somebody who has made it a point of trying to do what’s right of recognizing that I could do better in my own life. We should be able to admit we were wrong.”


Despite the controversy, Spurlock released a sequel film titled “Super Size Me 2, Holy Chicken” in 2017, intending for it to be distributed by YouTube Red. However, following his admission of sexual misconduct, YouTube dropped the film. Eventually, Samuel Goldwyn Films picked up distribution rights, releasing the film in September 2019.

In October 2022, The Washington Post reported that Spurlock had faced significant repercussions for his misconduct, with his career suffering a substantial decline as a result.