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Published Time: 24.05.2024 - 15:13:33 Modified Time: 24.05.2024 - 15:13:33

"I wanted to be able to lean into the serious moments. I wanted to be able to breathe in the moments of levity. We want to give you permission to laugh in the places where it's really hard to laugh," he told the AP. Morgan Spurlock, Super Size Me, supersize me


Spurlock made a splash in 2004 with his groundbreaking film Super Size Me, which was nominated for an Academy award. The film chronicled the detrimental physical and psychological effects of Spurlock eating only McDonald's food for 30 days. He gained 25 pounds, saw a spike in his cholesterol and lost his sex drive.

He returned in 2019 with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, a sober look at an industry that processes nine billion animals a year in America.

"We're at an amazing moment in history from a consumer standpoint, where consumers are starting to have more and more power," he told The in 2019. "It's not return for the shareholders. It's return for the consumers."

Spurlock was a gonzo-like filmmaker who leaned into the bizarre and ridiculous. His stylistic touches included zippy graphics and amusing music, blending a Michael Moore-ish camera-in-your-face style with his own sense of humour and pathos.

"I wanted to be able to lean into the serious moments. I wanted to be able to breathe in the moments of levity. We want to give you permission to laugh in the places where it's really hard to laugh," he told the AP.

After he exposed the fast-food and chicken industries, there was an explosion in restaurants stressing freshness, artisanal methods, farm-to-table goodness and ethically sourced ingredients. But nutritionally, not much had changed.

"There has been this massive shift and say to me, 'So, has the food gotten healthier?' And I say, 'Well, the marketing sure has,"' he said.

Not all his work dealt with food. Spurlock made documentaries the boy band One Direction and the geeks and fanboys at Comic-Con. One of his films looked at life behind bars at the Henrico County Jail in Virginia.

In POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Spurlock tackled questions of product placement, marketing and advertising. With Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?, Spurlock went on a global search to find the al-Qaeda leader.

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! was supposed to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, but was shelved at the height of the #MeToo movement when Spurlock came forward to detail his own history of sexual misconduct.

He confessed he had been accused of rape while in college and 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 told the AP.

Spurlock grew up in a small town in West Virginia. His mother was an English teacher who he remembered would correct his work with a red pen.

He is survived by two sons, his parents and former spouses Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein, the mothers of his children.

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