UPDATED, 4:30 PM: Now Morgan Spurlock’s former company, the New York-based Warrior Poets, has yanked his film Super Size Me 2 from Sundance. They just issued this statement: “Due to Morgan Spurlock stepping down from Warrior Poets, we, the partners, have decided that this is not the appropriate time for Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Therefore, we will be removing the documentary from the festival’s slate.” It was signed Jeremy Chilnick & Matthew Galkin of Warrior Poets.
The Sundance Institute subsequently released this statement: “We fully support these decisions by the film’s teams. We were saddened to read Morgan Spurlock’s recent admissions. We empathize deeply with the many people affected — especially the women who were impacted.”
PREVIOUS 4:07 PM: The fallout continues in the wake of filmmaker Morgan Spurlock coming out to confess that he was “part of the problem” of an environment of sexual harassment for women. Both doc filmmakers of The Devil We Know and YouTube Red, which was supposed to distribute Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, have distanced themselves from him. YouTube is dropping distribution of his film, with a YouTube spokesperson saying: “We feel for all of the women impacted by the recent statements made by Morgan Spurlock. In light of this situation, we have decided not to distribute Super Size Me 2 on YouTube Red.”
The Devil We Know was a collaboration between Spurlock and Stephanie Soechtig (Under the Gun) that used Indiegogo to crowdfund to complete the picture. The story focuses on the makers of Teflon, the multi-national chemical corporation DuPont, which exposed its workers and an entire community to C8, a toxic chemical used to make its non-stick superstar and countless other consumer products. Now, according to the CDC, C8 is found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans.
Spurlock’s name will now be dropped from that documentary film. “In light of Morgan’s recent revelations, we agreed to end his association with The Devil We Know. Right now, our priority is ensuring nothing distracts from the extraordinary people who shared their stories with us and the important issue at the heart of this film: the lack of oversight when it comes to our exposure to toxic chemicals,” said a statement released by the spokeswoman for the film.
This is the second time there has been controversy around a Soechtig documentary, albeit for vastly different reasons. She was also the director behind the gvp film Under the Gun, which was put under a microscope for editing footage in such a way that its subject matters took issue with it for being misleading and, in fact, sued them. Executive producer and narrator/interviewer Katie Couric apologized. But Soechtig stood her ground and the battle was won in favor of the filmmakers in court.
Spurlock is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and founder of Warrior Poets, a New York-based production studio, which he stepped down from this week after writing an essay outing himself, saying one of the women he slept with in college believed she was raped. He commented that he was part of the sexual harassment problem.
Spurlock’s first film, Super Size Me, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and went on to win Best Directing honors. The film then won the inaugural WGA Best Documentary Screenplay award and got an Oscar nom for Best Feature Documentary.
Since then, he has directed, produced, and distributed multiple film, television and online projects, including The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, Rats, Mansome and CNN’s Inside Man.