Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker behind Super Size Me, dies aged 53

Documentary maker died following complications from cancer

Morgan Spurlock lived on McDonald’s food for a month for his 2004 documentary Super Size Me. AP
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Morgan Spurlock, the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker behind Super Size Me, in which he lived on a diet of McDonald’s for a month to illustrate the dangers of a fast-food diet, has died at the age of 53.

He died on Thursday of complications from cancer, his family said in a statement.

“It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” Craig Spurlock, who worked with him on several projects, said in the statement.

“Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas and generosity. The world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him.”

Spurlock is best known for his 2004 film Super Size Me, in which he had to answer yes when asked by fast-food workers if he wanted to upgrade to the largest size for an order.

The film brought in $22 million at the global box office and sparked a conversation about how the fast-food industry encourages poor nutrition.

McDonald’s discontinued its “super size” option following its release, according to Variety.

Spurlock 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.

He leaned into the bizarre and ridiculous, with his stylistic touches including zippy graphics and amusing music, blending a Michael Moore-ish camera-in-your-face style with his sense of humour and pathos.

After he exposed the fast-food and chicken industries, there was a rise in restaurants stressing freshness, artisanal methods, farm-to-table goodness and ethically sourced ingredients.

“There has been this massive shift and people say to me, ‘So has the food gotten healthier?’ And I say, ‘Well, the marketing sure has,’” Spurlock told AP in 2019.

Updated: May 25, 2024, 4:35 AM