Morgan Spurlock, a filmmaker who is best known for directing and starring in the hit fast-food documentary Super Size Me, published a personal essay yesterday in which he admits to being accused of rape in college, cheating on his wives and girlfriends, and harassing a female staffer at his production company.
After seeing the recent reports of sexual misconduct stemming from the entertainment industry, Spurlock realized it was time for himself to come clean. “I am also a part of the problem,” Spurlock writes. “I’m sure I’m not alone in this thought, but I can’t blindly act as though I didn’t somehow play a part in this, and if I’m going truly represent myself as someone who has built a career on finding the truth, then it’s time for me to be truthful as well.”
The filmmaker details how, in college, a girl that he “hooked up with on a one night stand” later accused him of rape. Although she did not file any charges, the girl mentioned the incident and Spurlock by name in a short story. The filmmaker also notes that eight years ago, after his career had taken off, he settled a sexual harassment claim from one of his assistants, who he called names like “hot pants” and “sex pants.” Spurlock writes about how he reacted when she threatened to tell everyone if he didn’t pay her a settlement: “Being who I was, it was the last thing I wanted, so of course, I paid. I paid for peace of mind. I paid for her silence and cooperation. Most of all, I paid so I could remain who I was.” He also notes that he’s been unfaithful to “every wife and girlfriend” in his life.
I am Part of the Problem— Morgan Spurlock (@MorganSpurlock) December 14, 2017
Spurlock then questions whether his transgressions were in some way influenced by the sexual abuse that he endured as a child and teen, or the fact that he’s “consistently been drinking since the age of 13.” Ultimately, he concludes: “None of these things matter when you chip away at someone and consistently make them feel like less of a person.” Spurlock writes that from now on, he plans to “lay it all out in the open” and be more honest with himself and the public about his behavior.
At a time when some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the food world are being toppled by reports of sexual misconduct, this letter is particular notable because, at least as far as the public knows, it wasn’t prompted by any recent revelations or allegations. As Spurlock says at the start of the letter, while “watching hero after hero, man after man, fall” he kept wondering “when will they come for me?” Now he’s letting the world know that he’s part of the problem. “By recognizing and openly admitting what I’ve done to further this terrible situation, I hope to empower the change within myself,“ he writes.
This confession comes three months after his latest food documentary, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! made its premiere at the Toronto International Food Festival, and got picked up for distribution by YouTube Red. There’s still no word yet, though, on when it will be released to the public.
Updated: Spurlock is “stepping down, effective immediately,” from his position at Warrior Poets, the production company he co-founded in 2004, reports IndiWire. It isn’t clear if the filmmaker voluntarily resigned or if he was pushed out by co-founder Jeremy Chilnick and partner Matthew Galkin.