Morgan Spurlock

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Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Spurlock at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of Mansome
Morgan Valentine Spurlock

(1970-11-07) November 7, 1970 (age 52)
Alma materNew York University
Occupation(s)Film director, television producer, screenwriter, playwright
Years active1994–present
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Alex Jamieson
(m. 2006; div. 2011)
Sara Bernstein
(m. 2016)
Children2 Edit this at Wikidata

Morgan Valentine Spurlock (born November 7, 1970) is an American documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter and playwright.

Spurlock's films include Super Size Me (2004), Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden? (2008), POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011), Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope (2011), One Direction: This Is Us (2013) and Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2017). He was the executive producer and star of the reality television series 30 Days (2005–2008). In June 2013, Spurlock became host and producer of the CNN show Morgan Spurlock Inside Man (2013–2016). He is also the co-founder of short-film content marketing company Cinelan, which produced the Focus Forward campaign for GE.[3]


Early life[edit]

Morgan Valentine Spurlock was born on November 7, 1970 in Parkersburg, West Virginia,[4] and was raised in Beckley, West Virginia. His parents, Ben and Phyllis Spurlock,[5] raised him as a Methodist. He has said he is of Scots-Irish and English descent.[6]


Spurlock was educated at Woodrow Wilson High School, a public high school in the city of Beckley, West Virginia. He graduated with a BFA in film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1993. He is a member of the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta.[7]

Later life[edit]

Before making the 2004 Academy Award-nominated Super Size Me, Spurlock was a playwright, winning awards for his play The Phoenix at both the New York International Fringe Festival in 1999 and the Route 66 American Playwriting Competition in 2000.[8]

He also created I Bet You Will for MTV. I Bet You Will began as a popular Internet webcast of five-minute episodes featuring ordinary people doing stunts in exchange for money. Examples include eating a full jar of mayonnaise (US$235), eating a "worm burrito" (US$265), and taking shots of corn oil, Pepto-Bismol, lemon juice, hot sauce, cold chicken broth, and cod liver oil (US$450.00 for all nine shots). The webcast was a success, with over a million hits in the first five days.[citation needed] MTV later bought and aired the show, which Spurlock hosted. The list of documentary films that inspired Spurlock includes Brother's Keeper, Hoop Dreams, The Thin Blue Line, Roger and Me, Harlan County USA, and The Last Waltz. He considers Brother's Keeper the greatest documentary of all time.[9][10] In 2008, he signed a deal with Fox Television Studios.[11]

While attending a screening of the movie Catfish, Spurlock approached the film's producers afterwards and called Catfish "the best fake documentary" he had ever seen.[12][13]

In 2017, Spurlock stepped down from his production company after admitting to having committed sexual misconduct in his past, including cheating on his past wives and girlfriends as well as settling a sexual harassment allegation.[14]


Super Size Me[edit]

Spurlock's docudrama Super Size Me was released in the U.S. on May 7, 2004. This production was later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and Spurlock won the first Writers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary Screenplay.[15] He conceived the idea for the film when he was at his parent's house for Thanksgiving, and while watching TV saw a news story about a lawsuit brought against McDonald's by two teenage girls who blamed the fast food chain for their obesity.

The film depicts an experiment he conducted in 2003, in which he ate three McDonald's meals a day every day (and nothing else) for 30 days. The film's title derives from one of the rules of Spurlock's experiment: he would not refuse the "super-size" option whenever it was offered to him but would never ask for it himself. The result, according to Spurlock, was a diet with twice the calories recommended by the USDA. Further, Spurlock attempted to curtail his physical activity to match the exercise habits better of the average American (he previously walked about 5 kilometers\3 miles a day, whereas the average American walks 2 kilometers\1.5 miles).

In his reply documentary Fat Head, Tom Naughton "suggests that Spurlock's calorie and fat counts don't add up" and noted Spurlock's refusal to publish the Super Size Me food log. The Houston Chronicle reports: "Unlike Spurlock, Naughton has a page on his Web site that lists every item (including nutritional information) he ate during his fast-food month."[16]

He was of above average health and fitness when he started the project; he gained 25 pounds (11 kg), became quite puffy, and suffered liver dysfunction and depression by the end. Spurlock's supervising physicians noted the effects caused by his high-calorie diet—once even comparing it to a case of severe binge alcoholism. Following Spurlock's December 2017 assertion that he hadn't been "sober for more than a week" in three decades, the claims of his liver dysfunction being caused by eating McDonald's food solely for 30 days have been called into question. [17]

After completing the project, it took Spurlock fourteen months to return to his normal weight of 185 pounds (84 kg). His then-girlfriend (now ex-wife), Alexandra Jamieson, took charge of his recovery with her "detox diet", which became the basis for her book, The Great American Detox Diet.[18]

Spurlock released a sequel film, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, in 2017,[19] to be distributed by YouTube Red, but was dropped since Spurlock's admission of sexual misconduct. Samuel Goldwyn Films distributed the film, instead, in September 2019.[20]

Subsequent films[edit]

External video
Morgan Spurlock Shankbone Metropolitan Opera 2009.jpg
video icon Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold, TED Talks[21]

Spurlock's second feature documentary, Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008. In the film, and in interviews, Spurlock explores the fight against terrorism and views the argument from both sides, in which he tries to find Osama Bin Laden.

Spurlock directed The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!.[22][23]

Freakonomics is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, which premiered in April 2010. Spurlock was at the helm of this project alongside five directors (Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon and Eugene Jarecki).

The one-hour documentary Committed: The Toronto International Film Festival premiered on AMC on 12 October 2010.[24]

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a 2011 documentary film about product placement, marketing and advertising which was reportedly itself financed through product placement.[21][25] The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.[26] It was released in the US in April 2011. It screened in the New Zealand Film Festival in August 2011 together with an appearance by Spurlock to talk about the movie.

In mid-2010, Spurlock worked with Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon, Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles, and comic book creator Stan Lee to create the documentary Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope, to cover the stories of convention fans.[27][28] Whedon, Lee, and Knowles served as executive producers. Legendary Pictures' Thomas Tull, who independently financed the documentary, told Variety, "We look forward to capturing the spirit, energy and people that Comic-Con has infused into legions of fans, bringing these audiences and projects out of the halls and onto a world stage."[29] On April 6, 2012, Spurlock released the film to selected theaters in the United States, as well as video on demand outlets.

Spurlock hosted and produced the CNN series Morgan Spurlock Inside Man, which aired from June 2013 to August 2016.[30]

Spurlock helped distribute A Brony Tale, a documentary directed by Brent Hodge on the brony phenomenon and on the musician and voice acting career of Ashleigh Ball. The film was selected for theatrical distribution under the label Morgan Spurlock Presents. The film had a July 8, 2014 theater release.[31]

Spurlock teamed up with Hodgee Films again on the 2015 series Consider the Source, in association with Disney's Maker Studios.

30 Days[edit]

In each episode, a person (sometimes Spurlock himself) or a group of people spend 30 days immersing themselves in a mode of life markedly different from their norm (being in prison, a devout Christian living in a Muslim family, a homophobe staying with a homosexual person, etc.), while Spurlock discusses the relevant social issues involved. FX began airing the show on June 15, 2005. In the premiere episode of the first season, "Minimum Wage", Spurlock and his fiancée lived for 30 days in the Bottoms neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, earning minimum wage, with no access to outside funds.

In the second-season finale, Spurlock spent 25 days locked in a Henrico County, Virginia (a county outside of Richmond), jail to experience life as an inmate.[32] He did not complete the entire 30 days in jail because the majority of inmates in the state of Virginia serve 85% of the sentence, so once Spurlock reached that benchmark, he was released.[33]

The third season of 30 Days premiered on June 3, 2008.[34] The first episode of the third season, titled "Working in a Coal Mine", was filmed in Bolt, West Virginia, which is located roughly 18 miles (29 km) from the city of Beckley, West Virginia, where Spurlock was raised before leaving for New York.[35]

In late 2008, FX announced it would not renew the 30 Days series, making the third season the last.

Other work[edit]

Morgan Spurlock with Highland Titles in Scotland during filming Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia
  • Spurlock optioned the rights for Chris Mooney's book The Republican War on Science in order to create another documentary film,[36] but released the option in 2008.[37]
  • Spurlock has a role in the film Drive Thru, a horror film about a fictional fast food restaurant that has its mascot come to life and start killing people. It was released on DVD on May 29, 2007.
  • Spurlock presented 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die on Current TV. The show premiered on August 1, 2011.[38]
  • On May 28, 2011, Spurlock was the graduation commencement speaker for the MBA Business program at Sonoma State University.
  • Spurlock's half-hour documentary series A Day in the Life was to debut on Hulu in mid-August 2011. It follows "incredibly focused" people such as Richard Branson and for a full day. The series is exclusive to Hulu.[39]
  • Spurlock directed an additional episode of ESPN's 30 for 30 sports documentary series, entitled "The Dotted Line". This documentary takes a look at the competitive world of sports agents. "The Dotted Line" premiered on ESPN October 11, 2011, one day following the premiere of a two-hour documentary, I, Caveman, created and directed by Spurlock for the Science Channel series Curiosity. In it, a group of men and women including Spurlock try to survive in the wild using only Stone Age technology.
  • In 2011, Spurlock presented a Ted talk called "The greatest Ted talk ever sold".
  • Spurlock is the presenter of a new show in the UK on Sky Atlantic entitled Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia. The show is a comedy based around the differences between the UK and the US.[40]
  • Spurlock contributed a brief Foreword to Martin Lindstrom's 2011 book Brandwashed.
  • Spurlock's documentary Mansome was announced on March 8, 2012 as a Spotlight selection for the Tribeca Film Festival. The film takes a comedic look at male identity as defined through men's grooming habits featuring celebrity and expert commentary.[41]
  • Spurlock directed the 3D concert film One Direction: This Is Us, starring the English-Irish boy band One Direction, and released August 30, 2013 by TriStar Pictures.[42]
  • Spurlock wrote a book in 2005 as a follow-up to Super Size Me entitled Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America.
  • Spurlock has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.

Personal life[edit]

Spurlock has two sons. The older, Laken James Spurlock, was born on December 9, 2006. His birth is depicted in Spurlock's documentary Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?, which Spurlock dedicated to Laken. The younger, Kallen Marcus Spurlock, was born on May 22, 2016.[43]

Although Spurlock was raised Methodist, he stated in an interview with TV Guide in 2014 that he is now agnostic.[44]

Sexual misconduct incidents[edit]

In December 2017, Spurlock wrote a blog post admitting to a history of sexual misconduct.[45][46] After publishing his blog post, he stepped down from his position with Warrior Poets, a company he had founded in 2004.[47]

In October 2022, The Washington Post reported that Spurlock had "suffered career death" as a result of his misconduct.[48]


  • Spurlock, Morgan (2005). Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0-399-15260-1.
  • Spurlock, Morgan (2008). Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6652-0.
  • Spurlock, Morgan (2011). Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. DK. p. 192. ISBN 978-0756683429.



Year Film Role Notes
1994 Léon: The Professional None Production assistant: New York
1995 Kiss of Death None Office production assistant
2004 Super Size Me Himself Director, Writer
2004 The Future of Food None Executive producer
2004 Czech Dream None Executive producer
2006 Chalk None Executive producer
2006 Class Act None Executive producer
2007 Drive Thru Robbie, The Hella-Burger Manager
2007 The Third Wave None Executive producer
2007 What Would Jesus Buy? None Producer
2008 Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? Himself Director, writer
2008 Last Cup: Road to the World Series of Beer Pong None Executive producer
2009 The Entrepreneur None Executive producer
2009 Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days Himself
2009 New Brow: Contemporary Underground Art Himself
2009 Abraham Obama Himself
2010 Freakonomics Himself Director, writer (segment "A Roshanda by Any Other Name"), Narrator
2010 Pool Party None Executive Producer
2011 The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Himself Director, Executive producer, Writer
2011 Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope None Director, writer, producer
2011 The Other F Word None Executive producer
2011 How We Covered It Himself
2011 The Unauthorized Documentary, Hangover Part II Himself
2012 Mansome Himself Director, writer, producer
2012 Knuckleball! None Executive producer
2012 Glue Man Himself Stars
2013 One Direction: This Is Us None Director, producer
2013 Web Junkie None Executive producer
2013 Dancing in Jaffa None Executive producer
2013 Waiting for Mamu None Executive producer
2013 Chronic-Con, Episode 420: A New Dope Himself
2013 You Don't Know Jack None Director, writer
2013 Misfire: The Rise and Fall of the Shooting Gallery Himself
2014 A Brony Tale None Executive producer
2014 I Am Santa Claus None Executive producer
2014 We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss None Director, producer
2014 That Film About Money None Executive producer
2015 Man Under None Executive producer
2015 Censored Voices None Executive producer
2015 Made in Japan None Executive producer
2015 I Am Dale Earnhardt Himself
2015 Crafted None Director
2015 The Princess of North Sudan None Producer, in production
2016 Rats None Director
2016 The Eagle Huntress None Executive producer
2017 Tough Guys None Executive producer
2017 Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! Himself Director, writer, producer


Year Show Role Notes
2002 I Bet You Will Host TV series
2004 Last Laugh '04 Himself not credited, TV movie
2004 Know Your Enemy: Al Qaeda's Third Wave N/A Executive producer, TV movie
2005 The 50 Greatest Documentaries Himself TV movie
2005 Merry F %$in' Christmas Himself TV movie
2005 The 10th Annual Critics' Choice Awards Himself TV movie
2005 30 Days Himself Creator, Executive producer
2010 The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! Himself Director
2011 A Day in the Life N/A Director, Executive producer
2012 Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia Himself
2013 Morgan Spurlock Inside Man Himself Director, writer, Executive producer
2013 Losing It with John Stamos N/A Creator, Executive producer
2014 7 Deadly Sins Host Executive producer, Creator


  1. ^ Alexandra Jamieson (December 21, 2011). "Learning From Divorce About Detox". Delicious Vitality. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  2. ^ Naja Rayne (May 5, 2016). "Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock Marries Girlfriend of 8 Years". Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  3. ^ Fera, Rae Ann (2013-04-26). "GE Tells the Stories of the World's Innovators with 'Focus Forward'". Fast Co.Create.
  4. ^ "Morgan Spurlock Biography". Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  5. ^ "Morgan Spurlock". TV Guide.
  6. ^ Smith, Patrick (March 30, 2012). "New Britannia: Morgan Spurlock's latest exposé - delving into 'real Britain'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12.
  7. ^ "The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta" Archived 2009-01-11 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Roberts, Genevieve (31 March 2012). "Morgan Spurlock: 'I was doing funny walks around the house aged six'". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  9. ^ Gibb, Lindsay (March 2008). "The everyman Morgan Spurlock talks about the state of documentaries, not finding Osama bin Laden, and why listening to voices is a good thing". RealScreen: 58.
  10. ^ Schuker, Lauren A.E. (2 February 2008). "Hit List: Morgan Spurlock". No. Weekend Journal. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  11. ^ Schneider, Michael (2008-01-10). "Fox signs overall deal with Spurlock". Variety. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  12. ^ Karina Longworth (September 15, 2010). "Doc or Not, Catfish is Stranger Than Fiction". Village Voice. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  13. ^ Steve Pond (October 8, 2010). "'Catfish' Star Grilled on Truth, Fiction & Facebook". The Wrap. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  14. ^ Hauser, Christine (14 December 2017). "Morgan Spurlock: 'I Am Part of the Problem'". The New York Times.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (February 15, 2005). "WGA serves up 1st doc kudo to 'Super'". Variety. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  16. ^ Hoffman, Ken (January 15, 2008). "Ordering up some food for thought". Houston Chronicle.
  17. ^ McAleer, Phelim (May 23, 2018). "A Big Mac Attack, or a False Alarm?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  18. ^ The Great American Detox Diet: The Proven 8-week Programme for Weight Loss, Good Health and Well Being - As Featured in the Hit Movie "Super Size Me": Alex Jamieson: 9781405077712: Books. 3 June 2005.
  19. ^ "Toronto Film Review: 'Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!'". Variety, September 14, 2017.
  20. ^ "Super Size Me 2". Samuel Goldwyn Films. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  21. ^ a b A video of Spurlock talking about The Greatest Movie Ever Sold at TED
  22. ^ Hulu, The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! Title Details Archived January 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ TV Squad, Morgan Spurlock on The Simpsons Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! August 1, 2009.
  24. ^ Peter Sciretta (October 9, 2010). "Morgan Spurlock to Premiere 'Committed' on AMC". SlashFilm. Archived from the original on October 11, 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  25. ^ "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold -- A Sony Pictures Classics Release". POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.
  26. ^ "Spurlock premieres 'Greatest Movie Ever Sold' at Sundance -". USA Today.
  27. ^ Spurlock, Morgan (2010). "Looking for people who love Comic-Con". Archived May 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope – Starring Yourself?". Action Flick Chick. June 4, 2010.
  29. ^ Graser, Marc (May 20, 2010). "Spurlock, Whedon eye 'Comic-Con' doc". Variety.
  30. ^ Molloy, Tim. "Morgan Spurlock joins CNN". Yahoo News. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  31. ^ Mike Fleming Jr (22 April 2014). "'Morgan Spurlock Presents' Label Hatched To Release Indie Movies - Deadline". Deadline.
  32. ^ Associated Press, "Spurlock to go behind bars". June 13, 2006.
  33. ^ FX "Thirty Days: Season 2 on the FX Network, Season Finale Episode.
  34. ^ Capone With Morgan Spurlock About Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? And More!!,, April 18, 2008
  35. ^ "Spurlock Supersizes West Virginia On The Map" Archived 2009-01-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^ "'Science' Scooped Up". The Washington Post. December 17, 2005
  37. ^ The Intersection Archived 2008-05-02 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "Current TV Launches Original Series "50 Documentaries to See Before You Die" Premiering on Monday, August 1". The Futon Critic. May 24, 2011
  39. ^ Staffers. "Morgan Spurlock doing exclusive Hulu documentary series - Screen & Stream".
  40. ^ Highland Titles with Lord Morgan Spurlock of Glencoe. 17 April 2012. Archived from the original on 2021-11-18 – via YouTube.
  41. ^ "TFF 2012: Spotlight" Archived 2012-04-10 at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ "Sony Sets Release Date for One Direction Concert Movie -". CraveOnline. 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  43. ^ Spurlock, Morgan. "Untitled". WhoSay.
  44. ^ Logan, Michael (April 11, 2014). "Morgan Spurlock is CNN's Inside Man, Tracking Kardashians, UFOs and More". TV Guide. Retrieved April 21, 2016. Spurlock: I was raised Methodist but as I grew up and traveled the world and met more and more people from various religions, I have become much more of an agnostic.
  45. ^ McCausland, Phil (December 13, 2017). "Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock admits to history of sexual misconduct". NBC News. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  46. ^ Kinneally, Tim. "Morgan Spurlock Recalls Accuser From His College Days: 'She Believed She Was Raped'". Archived from the original on 10 September 2018.
  47. ^ Andrews, Travis M. (December 14, 2017). "Morgan Spurlock steps down from his production company after confessing sexual misdeeds in a blog post". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  48. ^ Fetters Maloy, Ashley; Farhi, Paul (16 October 2022). "Five years on, what happened to the men of #MeToo?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 October 2022.

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