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The fallout continues in the wake of Morgan Spurlock’s confession that he was involved in a college incident in which the other party claimed rape and had settled a sexual harassment charge by a former employee.
The Oscar-nominated documentarian was poised to bring the film The Devil We Know to the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, but the filmmakers behind the Stephanie Soechtig-helmed exposé of mega-corporation DuPont and the environmental hazards caused by the manufacture of its Teflon product moved quickly to extricate Morgan’s name from the documentary, which is set to screen in the U.S. Documentary Competition.
“In light of Morgan’s recent revelations, we agreed to end his association with The Devil We Know,” said the film’s producer Kristin Lazure. “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.”
The move comes a day after Spurlock stepped down from his New York-based production company Warrior Poets, which has a staff of some 20 full-time employees and is a major feeder of documentary film and TV projects for such networks as History Channel and CNN.
In his Twitter post on Wednesday, Spurlock detailed multiple past encounters, including a sexual encounter in college that ended with his female partner claiming rape and an incident with a former female employee whom he referred to as “hot pants” and “sex pants.”
Sources say everyone in Spurlock’s orbit — including filmmakers and networks he is in business with — was blindsided by the post and began scrambling to distance themselves. But the biggest question looming is what happens now to the fate of Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! That film, which marks a follow-up to Spurlock’s Oscar-nominated Super Size Me, sold to YouTube Red at the Toronto International Film Festival in September for $3.5 million. The documentary, which features Spurlock as the onscreen narrator and prominent presence in the marketing campaign, was poised to screen at the upcoming Sundance and Berlin film festivals in January and February, respectively, and was set to be released on YouTube’s platform in March. All of that is now in doubt, as dealmakers are exploring their options of voiding the contract or selling the film back to Spurlock, insiders say.
Super Size Me 2 had marked the biggest acquisition yet for YouTube Red, featuring an extraordinary figure paid for a documentary.
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