YouTube Red cancels release of Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me 2’ following filmmaker’s sexual abuse confessions

YouTube’s subscription service, YouTube Red, is losing another of its bigger names. Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” sequel will be pulled from YouTube Red’s 2018 lineup, following Spurlock’s recent confessions of sexual misconduct shared on Twitter last week.

Spurlock on Wednesday admitted to a sexual encounter in college that sounds like it would be considered date rape, as well as to a sexual harassment charge by a former employee. He posted the details of these events in a long Twitter post where he also said, “I am part of the problem.”

His confessions have now impacted one of YouTube Red’s biggest deals to date.

Google’s video service had picked up the Morgan Spurlock-directed “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” from the Toronto Film Festival this fall for $3.5 million, in what Deadline had then called both “ambitious” and YouTube’s “biggest festival film buy.”

YouTube had confirmed the deal in late September, adding that the film would initially be released in theaters in 2018, before its exclusive global premiere on YouTube Red.

The film itself was meant to be another chapter in Spurlock’s battle with the food industry, this time as he opened his own fast food restaurant. The filmmaker had previously worked with YouTube Red, with the release of his documentary “Vlogumentary” in 2016, so a follow-on deal like this made sense. It was considered a big win for YouTube Red, given that the film was soon headed to Sundance as well.

Following his confessions, Spurlock stepped down from the production company behind “Super Size Me 2,” Warrior Poets. The company has also now pulled the film from the Sundance film festival, where it was set to premiere, noted The Hollywood Reporter. And Spurlock has been cut from Stephanie Soechtig’s doc “The Devil We Know,” also due next month at the Sundance Film Festival.

YouTube confirmed its decision to pull “Super Size Me 2” in a statement shared with THR:

“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,” a spokesperson said.

Spurlock’s confession is the latest in a series of sexual harassment and abuse claims that have been sweeping Hollywood, the tech industry, media, and beyond. It’s also not the first to impact release plans or further development of studio’s programming on programming on streaming services.

For example, Louis C.K.’s film “I Love You, Daddy” was pulled ahead of its release to theaters, and Netflix cut ties with the comedian, as it has done with Kevin Spacey, Danny Masterson, and the exec who didn’t believe Masterson’s accusers. Amazon has also been impacted, losing its studio head Roy Price and “Transparent’s” Jeffrey Tambor.

This is not the first time YouTube Red has lost high-profile content because of the bad behavior of a creator, however. Earlier this year, popular creator PewDiePie’s YouTube Red series was cancelled after the vlogger posted anti-Semitic content.

Image credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images