Just before I took a holiday vacation from blogging, several readers and Twitter followers alerted me to news stories about Morgan Spurlock confessing to being a sexual harasser. Here’s an example from a BBC article online:

US documentary film-maker Morgan Spurlock has publicly confessed to a history of sexual misconduct, referring to himself as “part of the problem”.

Spurlock, who made the hit film Super Size Me, wrote on Twitter that he had been accused of rape and had paid to settle a claim of sexual harassment.

He also admitted cheating on “every wife and girlfriend I have ever had”.

Sounds like an awesome guy. And here I thought he only cheated on his Super Size Me rules.

Truth is, Spurlock being who he is, my first thought was that his confession would turn out to be part of an upcoming publicity stunt. But three weeks have passed and I haven’t seen a promo for Morgan Spurlock Spends 30 Days Acting Like A Dick, so perhaps the confession and regret are genuine. Let’s read on.

In a lengthy statement, Spurlock said that after months of such revelations he had come to the conclusion that “I am not some innocent bystander, I am also a part of the problem”.

“As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realisation of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder ‘who will be next?’ I wonder, ‘when will they come for me?’,” he wrote.

So now I’m wondering if the confession and apparent regret were a calculated decision to pre-empt any headlines by making his own first. Anyway …

He said the allegations of rape took place at college. It did not lead to charges or investigations but he said the woman had written about the incident in a story writing class and had named Spurlock.

The settlement for alleged harassment involved a female employee and took place about eight years ago, he said.

“It wasn’t a gropy, feely harassment. It was verbal, and it was just as bad,” he wrote.

“I would call my female assistant ‘hot pants’ or ‘sex pants’ when I was yelling to her from the other side of the office. Something I thought was funny at the time, but then realised I had completely demeaned and belittled her to a place of non-existence.”

Spurlock, 47, said that when the woman decided to leave she asked for a settlement in return for her silence.

“Being who I was, it was the last thing I wanted, so of course I paid,” he said.

“I paid for peace of mind. I paid for her silence and co-operation. Most of all, I paid so I could remain who I was.”

I may raise a poop-storm by saying this, but I think we need to be careful of sliding into a witch-hunt mentality on the sexual harassment front. Yes, calling a female assistant “sex pants” is stupid and shouldn’t be tolerated. But let’s not put that into the same category as actually groping a woman or promising her a role in a film in return for sex.

The part of Spurlock’s confession I found most interesting was this:

“I haven’t been sober for more than a week in 30 years, something our society doesn’t shun or condemn but which only served to fill the emotional hole inside me and the daily depression I coped with,” he wrote.

Hmmm … remember those rules he established at the beginning of Super Size Me? One of them was that he’d only eat and drink what McDonald’s sold. In fact, in one scene he refused to drink water because McDonald’s didn’t sell water at the time.

He wouldn’t drink water, but apparently he drank enough alcohol to get drunk at least once a week while spending 30 days buying all his meals at McDonald’s. So much for the rules – which, as I demonstrated in Fat Head, he couldn’t have followed anyway. Given the theme of Super Size Me, I’m surprised he didn’t blame his alcohol problem on the liquor stores for selling him too much liquor. It’s those darned super-sized McScotches, ya see. Perhaps he should have made this documentary instead:

You may also recall the scene in Super Size Me in which a doctor tells Spurlock he’s developed a fatty liver. I thought the doctor was a bit of an idiot for blaming the fatty liver on fatty foods instead of all that sugar Spurlock was slugging down at McDonald’s. Now I also think the doctor should have asked, “By the way, Mr. Spurlock, have you been getting drunk at least once per week for the past couple of decades?  Because that will definitely trash your liver.”

Anyway, I can’t say I’m surprised. When I first watched Super Size Me, my impression of Spurlock was that he’s a good entertainer, but also full of @#$% — or full of bologna, as I put it in Fat Head. Based on his recent revelations, I’ll update that opinion and say he’s a lying, cheating, womanizing drunk. Put him in prison for a spell or kick him off a train, and he could be the subject of a country song.

Sexual harassment in Hollywood isn’t exactly a health topic, but as someone who lived in Hollywood and worked in and around the entertainment industry, I have some opinions on why it went on for so long.  The reasons are directly related to why I left Los Angeles for Tennessee.  I’ll get into those next time.

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29 Responses to “Morgan Spurlock Confesses To Being A Lying, Cheating, Womanizing Drunk”
  1. Paul says:

    Time. The truth always reveals itself in time. Long time, silent, follower.

  2. js290 says:

    To quote Paul Harvey, “Now you know the rest of the story…”

  3. Firebird7478 says:

    “Morgan Spurlock Spends 30 Days Acting Like A Dick”

    Who’s acting?

  4. Edward says:

    This isn’t surprising at all, unfortunately.
    Sometimes people throw around the term “sober” to mean they were high on *something* but not necessarily booze. Just a thought. But it would also make a ton of sense, as you indicated, about the fatty liver diagnosis.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Yup. Blaming McDonald’s food for your fatty liver when you’re a heavy drinker is just a wee bit dishonest.

      • Walter says:

        Here I am with two views of the world, one of moral actors and another of a bunch of apes who are bound by the laws of physics.

        We all know a blow to the head, some alcohol, a tumor or infection etcetera can change behavior.

      • Todd says:

        You called bull crap on him years ago.

        Didn’t he do one on working for minimum wage? I was waiting for him to do a documentary where he tried to walk in the shoes of those he criticizes. Maybe a documentary where he is a small business owner trying to pay low-skilled employees and still make a profit. I’m sure he would pay them $100 per hour and make millions.
        lol. The left never tries to see the other side of the issue.

        • Tom Naughton says:

          He covered a lot of topics in his “30 Days” series, and yes, he’s a b.s. artist. In fact, I met a woman in L.A. whose family was slated to be in one of his “30 Days” episodes (don’t remember the topic) but they backed out when the producer made it clear the conclusion was already decided and they were expected to play along.

  5. Lori Miller says:

    A 40-year-old man who calls his assistant “hot pants”? If he wasn’t a Hollywood big shot, he sounds like he’d be an older man buying beer for 18-year-olds so he can hang out with them…and finding nothing creepy about it.

  6. Lori Miller says:

    This is from Wikipedia’s entry on Spurlock:

    “Spurlock’s supervising physicians noted the effects caused by his high-calorie diet [in Super Size Me]—once even comparing it to a case of severe binge alcoholism.”

    • Tom Naughton says:

      And yet he allowed the audience to think it was the food.

      • Bob Niland says:

        re: And yet he allowed the audience to think it was the food.

        And people relied on it, and may have chosen suboptimal diets based on it. I found this on a subscription site I follow, from 2014: “If you saw Morgan Spurlock’s fast food experiment, a super high sat fat diet DAMAGED his liver. Badly. It was like he was an alcoholic.”

        So bad science is not just confined to beer-reviewed loo papers in prestigious journals.

        Spurlock probably assumed that because he was spouting consensus dogma, that of course fast food could be blamed for any adverse markers. I’m wondering if McD still has some cause of action in this affair.

        • Tom Naughton says:

          Perhaps, but I doubt they’d want to be seen as the giant corporation going after the independent filmmaker. Even if they have a legitimate case, the optics wouldn’t be good.

          • Bob Niland says:

            re: «Even if they [McD] have a legitimate case, the optics wouldn’t be good.»

            I’m not so sure, and I’ll quote you on why:
            «And schools will continue showing Super Size Me in health classes.»

            McD might quite reasonably demand, not money, but that SSM be revised.

            Short of legal action, it’s likely that SSM will continue to mislead people, and that no corrections will be volunteered on that side of things, absent some material motivation.

            Entirely independently, of course, Fat Head could be revised, as perhaps the Supersized Director’s Cut, to include newly revealed inferences about the true Spurlock diet during his notorious N=0. Such an update to FH, however, needs to be deferred until FHK hits the screen.

            • Tom Naughton says:

              Yup, one project at a time.

              • Walter says:

                And you have to realize that diet that Spurlock was promoting (either the one before the Mikey D’s diet or his alleged diet before and after could drive a man (or woman) to drink.

                He should also change his name Spurouslock. OTOH, what do you expect of an ape?!

            • Craig Rich says:

              Why would McD’s want the trouble? Seems that McDs sales spike when SSM was released. Anecdotally, my friends told me after they watched it, they all started craving McD’s. So I think they see it as free advertising to children.

              • Tom Naughton says:

                I talked to people who own franchises back in the day. They told me their sales did, in fact, go up after Super Size Me was released. The people who liked that crock of b.s. don’t eat at McDonald’s anyway.

  7. Kathy in OK says:

    Isn’t this a lot like a front page story that’s retracted 5 days later on page 9? Few people will ever know how dishonest Super Size Me truly was. Damage has been done. Not likely anyone reads the retraction.

  8. Emily says:

    Sex pants? Is he 5?

    I was sexually harassed for years, and yet — or maybe therefore — my reaction to “sex pants” was to laugh. (And being called “sex pants” is not going to unperson someone, even if you’re they’re boss. Sorry Spurlock, you’re not that powerful.) I’m sensing there was something more there, and that he’s confessing to a lesser sin in order to defang someone coming out with information that he’s guilty of a worse one. It’s very much the kind of thing my harasser did.

  9. Gina says:

    Did Morgan hire the same PR company as Kevin Spacey? So is he saying he is a pig because he gets hammered or does he drink because he’s a pig?! Thank you for mentioning the witch hunt currently going on. People don’t seem to remember their history. See Gary Dotson, Tawanna Brawley, Duke Lacrosse team. I’m going to Mickey D’s to try the McHammered. I hear it comes with extra pork and the urge to use lame excuses to excuse entitled behavior…

    • Tom Naughton says:

      And the Rolling Stone story about the supposed fraternity gang-rape at UVA. It’s good that sexual harassment is being exposed and discussed, but yes, we need to avoid the temptation to throw away the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” in our haste to punish the bad guys. The current witch-hunt atmosphere would make it easy for any woman with a grudge against a guy to toss out a false accusation and watch the outrage mob crucify him.

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