(CBS Local)– 15 years after stuffing his face with McDonald’s food for 30 straight days, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is back with a brand new documentary.
“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” explores the chicken industry as Spurlock opens his own chicken farm and fast food restaurant. Holy Chicken! will be making an appearance in New York later this month on 18 West 23rd Street.
“For years we talked about making a sequel to Super Size me and what would that be,” said Spurlock in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “There was some time back in 2008 or 2009 where I was thinking about trying to unionize a McDonald’s or a fast food restaurant, which would’ve been awesome. When I got the idea for this, I thought what would it look like to open my fast food restaurant.”
Spurlock worked with farmer Jonathan Buttram in Alabama to raise the chickens for his restaurant. The documentary dives into the challenges farmers like Buttram are facing in dealing with big corporations. “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” was supposed to be released a few years ago, but it was put on the shelf after Spurlock admitted to inappropriate sexual misconduct in 2017.
“For the last two years while the movie was sitting on the shelf, all I did was work it and try to get the movie out,” said Spurlock. “I owed it Jonathan, his son Zack, his wife Connie, and all the other farmers in the movie. I’m grateful and the number one word that comes out of the last two years is gratitude. I’m grateful to Jonathan and his family for sticking by me in the process. We got dozens of nos. The biggest thing that I learned and the whole thing that led to this was I can be better and I can do better. That’s all I can strive for everyday. What’s the best version of me I can put out everyday. I’m on day 640 something of being sober, being a better Dad, a better partner and that’s all I can be.”
The movie is playing in New York now and comes out on demand September 13. Spurlock has uncovered a lot about the food industry in his work as a filmmaker, but he was most surprised at how farmers like Buttram are being treated.
“Somebody has to stand up and I’m standing up for the other farmers too,” said Buttram. “I filed a complaint six or seven years ago and they tore it up and threw in in the trash. I’m going around looking over my shoulder now. I’m going to keep on going for the animals sake and for the humans sake.”
“The biggest thing that was most surprising is how badly farmers get treated,” said Spurlock. “These are guys who are indentured servants. They are basically trapped inside these companies with the debt these companies throw on them. I was shocked at how manipulated and owned these guys are by the chicken companies. For us it’s about putting out a message of change and empowerment. You as a consumer need to understand you have the power to make a difference through the choices you make.”