‘Super Size Me’ Director Morgan Spurlock Dies At 53

Morgan Spurlock, the documentarian most famous for the 2004 documentary Super Size Me, has died at age 53, according to multiple sources. He died in upstate New York, due to complications from cancer. “It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” said his brother Craig Spurlock in a statement. He 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.” Brett Morgan, a documentarian whose credits include the David Bowie film Moonage Daydream, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane, tweeted, "Morgan Spurlock achieved what most artists only dream: he actually changed the world with his art. He was an amazing father, brother, friend and one of the most important and influential filmmakers of my time. My heart breaks for his family and friends." Spurlock came to fame through the documentary Super Size Me, where he examined the effects of fast food on our bodies. Specifically, for thirty days, he only ate food that he could buy at McDonald's, and as part of the stunt, if asked if he wanted his order "super-sized," he had to say yes. By the end of the film, he'd gained 25 pounds and suffered from depression and liver dysfunction. It's unlikely that many Americans actually subsisted on a diet of just McDonald's, but he made his point and it was effective. According to Variety, McDonald's later discontinued its "super-size" option. In 2005, he started a TV docuseries on FX called 30 Days, which was inspired by Super Size Me. In each episode, Spurlock, or someone else, would immerse themselves in a very unfamiliar lifestyle for thirty days to see what they'd learn. In the premiere, "Minimum Wage," Spurlock and his then-fiance Alex Jamieson, lived for 30 days in a low-income area of Columbus, Ohio, trying to get by on minimum wage (which was $5.15 an hour at the time). They had no access to prior cash, credit cards or health insurance. They lived in an apartment whose rent was less than their combined wages for one week. Other shows saw a conservative Christian living with a Muslim family. In another, a gun-control supporter moved in with a father and son who were strong gun advocates. Another saw a conservative Christian moving in with a gay man in a majority-gay neighborhood in San Francisco. His subsequent projects were very diverse, from 2008's Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden to 2013's One Direction: This Is Us. His career came to a halt in 2017 when his film, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! was set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival but the premiere was canceled. At the time, Spurlock came forward to discuss his history of sexual misconduct, confessing that he had been accused of rape while in college. Additionally, he had settled a sexual harassment case with a female assistant. He also admitted to cheating on numerous partners. “I am part of the problem,” he wrote. “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,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. Spurlock is survived by his two children, Laken and Kallen; mother, Phyllis Spurlock; father Ben; brothers Craig and Barry; multiple nieces and nephews; and former spouses, Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein.

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