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Morgan Spurlock Had No Idea His #MeToo Confession Would ‘Decimate’ His Company and Work

Less than two years after going public about a decades-old rape allegation, Spurlock is back promoting his latest film.

Morgan Spurlock

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In December 2017, deep in the early weeks of the #MeToo movement, documentarian Morgan Spurlock revealed in a confessional post that a woman he slept with in college “believed she was raped” and that he realized he was “part of the problem.” Within days, Spurlock had resigned from his Warrior Poets production company, his former partners pulled his sequel to his breakout doc “Supersize Me” from Sundance, and YouTube announced that it would not release the film, titled “Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken!”

In a new interview with Business Insider, Spurlock discusses his experience over the past two years, including an attempt to contextualize his confession and its impact on his career. Despite his own post and an influx of followup stories that painted the environment at Warrior Poets as a “fratty boys’ club” and leveled new allegations at Spurlock’s partner Jeremy Chilnick (described as “a manager with inappropriate boundaries”), Spurlock is back. Armed with a theatrical and VOD release from Samuel Goldwyn Films for his sequel (once believed to be unreleasable), Spurlock has returned to the spotlight less than two years after it was all, in his words, “decimated.”

The way he tells it, all of this has been a big surprise, starting with that post. Spurlock told the outlet that, while he “thought some people would get upset” and he “thought some [projects] may go away,” he never thought his shared confession “would be complete slash and burn of everything. Within eight days, our whole company was decimated.”

“Within eight days of when I wrote what I wrote, I went from 65 employees to three, basically me and my brother and our accountant,” Spurlock told Business Insider. “Every movie and TV project we had went away.” (The Business Insider interview does mention one of the pricier consequences for Spurlock and company: a million-dollar-plus lawsuit from Turner Entertainment Networks, filed after Spurlock’s confession understandably led to the halting of a planned series for the cable outfit about issues facing women; Turner wanted to know what had happened to unaccounted-for production funds.)

“The hardest part for me was I literally put so many people in my company out of work right before the holidays,” he said. “It was right before Christmas. It was really hard for me to personally understand and deal with the situation. But I also knew I myself had put those people into this difficult spot. … Within a week, people just picked up their stuff and left. Computers were still on. Everything was still running. Shows we were working on were still up on [the editing system] Avid. People just walked away.”

Spurlock told the outlet this post was not inspired by any specific fears (the alleged victim he named in his post has never come publicly forward), but by a desire to reckon with his past misdeeds. (In the months since his post, the filmmaker went to rehab for issues with alcohol and is now over a year sober.)

“There was never a sense that someone was coming after me,” Spurlock told Business Insider. “I basically meant the number of people I had spoken to started to take stock of their past. … I felt I have said things and had behavioral missteps that are just as upsetting and problematic and looking back I’m upset about them. I felt I should just admit this, I should own up to it. I should say that I can do better. So in this heated #MeToo conversation, me doing that was partly that we need to have a space where people can own up to their past and confidently move forward. And I don’t think we were there then and I still don’t think we are there now.”

As for the allegations against Warrior Poets and the “inappropriate” environment that was allegedly fostered there long before his post, Spurlock says he’s still parsing through it. “I think that we had men at the top of the company and we should have had a stronger female voice leading the company,” he said. “Listen, I’m guilty of it. I said things that were inappropriate at the time that I didn’t think about. So, as the person who runs the company, I set the tone and there were times I didn’t nip things in the bud when I should have. And at the same time, it was a place where people liked to have fun.”

He added, “In the last year and a half, I’ve been meeting with people who have worked at the company and people loved working there. However, there were people I spoke to who didn’t have as many good times. I think it’s recognizing that balance and understanding how things are going to be different moving forward.”

Read the full interview with Spurlock over on Business Insider.

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