Birth Date: November 7, 1970 / Age: 42
Birth Place: Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA
Biography: Morgan Spurlock (born November 7, 1970) is an American independent film director and screenwriter, known for the documentary film Super Size Me, in which he demonstrated featured the negative health effects of McDonalds food.
Rejected five times by the USC film school, Spurlock graduated with a BFA in film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1993.
Spurlock was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and lives in Manhattan. Before making Super Size Me, Spurlock created I Bet You Will for MTV.
I Bet You Will
I Bet You Will began as an popular internet webcast of five-minute episodes featuring ordinary people doing disgusting, unusual, or embarassing stunts in exchange for money. Examples include eating a full jar of mayo ($235 dollars), and taking shots of corn oil, pink bismuth, lemon juice, hot sauce, cold chicken broth, and cod liver oil ($450 for all nine shots). The webcast was a success, with over a million hits in the first five days. The show was later bought and aired by MTV.
Super Size Me
Spurlock was of above-average health for his age in 2003, when he undertook the project shown in Super Size Me. In the film, he ate three McDonald's meals a day every day for 30 days, taking the 'super-size' option whenever it was offered, the end result being a diet with twice the number of calories as recommended by the USDA. Further, Spurlock curtailed his physical activity to better match the exercise habits of the average American. His health declined dramatically: he gained 25 pounds, suffered severe liver dysfunction and developed symptoms of depression. Spurlock's supervising physicians noted the effects caused by his high-fat, high-carb diet—one even comparing it to a case of severe binge alcoholism.
Spurlock's critics contend that his movie is a dishonest depiction of how fast food fits in with a regular diet. These critics claim it is obvious that such a drastic diet-exercise regimen could cause deleterious effects on health. (See Super Size Me)
After the completion of the project, it took Spurlock several months to return to his normal weight of 185 pounds. His then-girlfriend (now fiancée), vegan chef Alexandra Jamieson, took charge of his recovery with her "detox diet," which was the basis for a later book, titled The Great American Detox Diet.
Spurlock's current project is a television program called 30 Days. In each episode, a person spends thirty days immersing him or herself in a mode of life markedly different from their norm (working at Wal-Mart, being in prison, living as a Muslim, etc.), while Spurlock discusses the relevant social issues involved. FX began airing the show on June 15, 2005. In the premiere episode, "Minimum Wage," Spurlock and his fiancée lived for thirty days in the Bottoms neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio earning minimum wage, with no access to outside funds.
As with his film, this program has not been without its critics, among these conservative columnist Debbie Schlussel, who claims Spurlock seeks only to illustrate preconceived conclusions with his televised documentaries.