Morgan Spurlock, “Super Size Me” filmmaker, dies at 53

NEW YORK, NY – Morgan Spurlock, the documentary filmmaker renowned for his provocative 2004 film “Super Size Me,” passed away Thursday in upstate New York at the age of 53 due to complications from cancer. His family confirmed the news of his death, marking the end of a career that significantly impacted the documentary genre and public health discourse.

Spurlock gained fame with “Super Size Me,” a film that chronicled his month-long experiment of consuming only McDonald’s food. The documentary highlighted the detrimental effects of fast food on physical and mental health, as Spurlock experienced weight gain, depression, and liver dysfunction. The film grossed $22 million worldwide and ignited a global conversation about the fast food industry’s role in promoting poor nutrition.

The documentary’s release led McDonald’s to discontinue its “super-size” option, and the film remains a staple in educational settings. However, it has also faced scrutiny over the years, with critics questioning the accuracy of Spurlock’s claims, particularly his refusal to publicly share his diet log from the experiment.

Born on November 7, 1970, in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Spurlock was raised in the Methodist faith but later identified as agnostic. He graduated from New York University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film. Spurlock’s career extended beyond “Super Size Me,” as he produced and directed nearly 70 documentary films and television series through his production company, Warrior Poets.

His work often tackled controversial and topical issues, including the U.S. war in Afghanistan, minimum wage and immigrant labor, consumer marketing, trophy hunting, and corporate pressure on family farms. Notable projects include “Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden,” “30 Days,” “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” “7 Deadly Sins,” “Morgan Spurlock Inside Man,” and “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!”

In December 2017, during the height of the #MeToo movement, Spurlock admitted to past misconduct in a social media post, revealing instances of infidelity, sexual harassment, and an accusation of rape from his college years. This admission led to his resignation from Warrior Poets and effectively ended his documentary career.