Two Years After TIFF debut, Morgan Spurlock's 'Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken' to Finally Hit Theaters
Release of documentary sequel held up after Spurlock made #MeToo confession 'I Am Part of the Problem'
The impending release of Morgan Spurlock's documentary sequel Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken will test whether audiences are willing to overlook his admission of sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
The film, in which Spurlock aims to expose the unpleasant reality behind chicken raising and processing for the fast food industry, opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on September 6. It expands to additional locations on September 13, the same day it debuts on VOD platforms.
The most eaten animal on the planet - chicken.
Super Size Me 2 premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017, and seemed assured at the time of a robust theatrical run. After all, Spurlock's original Super Size Me (2004), which found him suffering the health consequences of eating a diet of McDonald's food over an entire month, had become one of the most successful documentaries of its time.
But within months of the sequel's premiere, Spurlock shocked the documentary world by volunteering an account of past sexual misconduct and harassment in an extended Twitter confession he titled "I Am Part of the Problem." The statement came in the first flush of the #MeToo movement.
In his TwitLonger post, Spurlock acknowledged settling a sexual harassment claim around 2009 with a female employee of his production company. He admitted to cheating on "every wife and girlfriend I have ever had." Most seriously, he recounted an incident from his college days involving a female student.
"When I was in college, a girl who I hooked up with on a one night stand accused me of rape. Not outright," he wrote. "There were no charges or investigations, but she wrote about the instance in a short story writing class and called me by name. A female friend who was in the class told be about it afterwards... I was floored."
After Spurlock posted his confession, YouTube Red - which had reportedly paid $3.5 million to acquire Super Size Me 2 - dropped the project. Spurlock resigned from his production company, Warrior Poets. Samuel Goldwyn Films is now releasing the documentary.
The trailer has racked up more than 30,000 views. It shows Spurlock deciding to open his own chicken restaurant, revealing the dubious ways chicken is marketed as both humane for the fowl and healthy for fast food customers.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.