Super Size Me documentarian and star Morgan Spurlock has admitted to both being part of the sexual harassment accusations that have recently come to light and experiencing sexual abuse himself. Spurlock participated in the “Me Too” conversation, but then posted a poem on Twitter called ‘I Am Part of the Problem.’ In it, he talks about times in his past when he cheated on his significant others and used sexualized nicknames on a former assistant, which he initially believed to be humorous but later realized was demeaning. Of the latter situation, he says that his assistant decided to quit, but would not leave until she received a settlement to keep quiet about the harassment.
Spurlock also shared a time in college when he was accused by a girl of rape, claiming that he had not thought of the event at all in that light. He repeats, “I am part of the problem.”
Despite stating these previous conceptions of his actions, Spurlock uses his poem not to excuse himself from his past, but to admit to his own faults and apologize to the women he has affected. He also uses the poem to question the events that might have caused these kinds of behaviors, delving into his personal, childhood and teenage experiences with sexual abuse and trying to piece together why he participated in such terrible acts that he himself hadn’t liked having done to him. Along with the abuse he experienced, Spurlock additionally discusses watching his father walk out on him and his mother,and the fact that he has not been sober for more than a week in the last 30 years.
Spurlock’s case is unique because he decided to come forward before the public got to the allegations first. He states that as he watched several men get ousted for sexual misconduct, he never wondered, “Who will be next?” Rather, he wrote in the statement, “I wonder when will they come for me?” His letter does not seem to come from self-serving attitude; he also writes of his recognition that by communicating honesty and admitting to his negative behaviors, he can be “part of the solution” of rectifying abusive institutions.
“More than anything, I’m hopeful that I can start to rebuild the trust and the respect of those I love most,” he states. “I’m not sure I deserve it, but I will work everyday to earn it back. I will do better. I will be better. I believe we all can.”
The day after Spurlock posted the poem, he stepped down as CEO of his production company, Warrior Poets, effective immediately, leaving the company to be led by co-founder Jeremy Chilnick and partner, Matthew Galkin. Jezebel spoke with seven former Warrior Poets employees who prefer to remain anonymous, during which they described this company as a “‘fratty, boys’ club.” Nude paintings are hung in the office, alcoholic drinks are pushed on employees whether they want them or not, and women’s appearances are subject to frequent and open critique and comments.
However, a former freelance employee says, “It was so shocking when Morgan’s statement came out because everybody knows that Jeremy is the problem.” Even though Spurlock was not the main perpetrator, he still apologized and left the company to be run by two people who are known in the company for behaving even worse. A former assistant also comments on the co-founder, saying, “Jeremy was always worse in my opinion.”
Not only did Spurlock resign from his company, but the Super Size Me sequel was also pulled from this year’s Sundance festival. In a follow-up message on Facebook, Spurlock characterized his poem as an apology to those he had harmed. As he moves forward in his life, he says he wants to be “part of the solution.”
Spurlock admits to his wrongdoings and decides he wants to not only do better, but be better. His apologies may not change much, if anything at all, and the people he has harmed may never forgive him, nor should they feel obligated to. However, he now understands that he has control over his actions, and instead of continuing to talk, he will begin to listen. The most important thing readers are left with is his decision to take responsibility over his past behavior, learn from it, and change in the future.
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