Straight out of the Ted Rall school of compassion, comes documentary film producer Morgan Spurlock, who scored a hit with is Super Size Me examination of McDonald’s, making fun of the special education students in attendance as, “retarded kids in the back wearing helmets.”
From the AP:
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock gave a profanity-laced, politically incorrect speech to several hundred high school students in Horsham on Friday, and not everyone was lovin’ it.
Spurlock, who ate nothing but McDonald’s meals for 30 days to make his Oscar-nominated 2004 documentary Super Size Me, spoke at Hatboro-Horsham High School during its first-ever Health and Wellness Fair.
In his hourlong presentation before 700 students, Spurlock joked about the intelligence of McDonald’s employees, using an Indian accent as he imitated a cashier trying to figure out how to ring up a Quarter Pounder. He also joked about “retarded kids in the back wearing helmets” and teachers smoking pot in the balcony.
There actually were special-education students in the back row. Teachers led them out during the hourlong presentation.
“If you put the whole package together, the use of the F-word and poking fun at teachers and the comments about special-needs students, it just wasn’t appropriate,” superintendent William Lessa said.
Speaking of the controversy Spurlock is quoted as saying, “The greatest lesson those kids learned today was the importance of free speech.”
If you want to see what you’re missing in a typical Spurlock speaking engagement – and it’s not much – you can view a video of his Michael Moore, Jr. act.
Spurlock is exclusively represented by Keppler On Campus, who are probably going to have a much tougher job keeping Spurlock’s speaking tour on track because of his remarks. Think about it, if you were a high school administrator would you touch this guy now? The answer is no…
There go all the high school gigs…
‘Super Size’-er mouths off in Montco – [The Morning Call]
Filmmaker talk cut by principal – [Intelligencer]
School, Filmmaker Regroup After ‘Super Size Me’ Speech – [KYW]
Update: Spurlock is signing a different tune today with the prospects of his lucrative speaking gigs vanishing. Gone is the free speech bravado, now it’s all apologies and misunderstanding.
Note he pulls the old “I’m sorry you were so dumb you were offended” trick.
Why is it when people claim they have a “right” to act like an ass they seem so surprised when they are treated that way?
Ci mi amigo, grande culo?!
This Guy is ” Boring “
Well, Spurlock was right about one thing in his apology…..he is retarded…….
Although I don’t think that’s what he really meant during is speech (as he claims during his apology)…..he was going for the cheap “retard” laugh….and now he can’t believe he got called on it…
Is he really clueless enough not to know that saying such a thing might upset the school just a tad?
He’s either clueless or he overestamates his charisma…….
If your cause is pure it doesn’t matter what you say.
Don’t you know nuttin’ J?
It’s just us ebil conservative (or libertarian) sorts who want to starve poor people and are homophobic racists, corporate stooges, wanna be Nazis, that have to watch what comes out of our mouths.
No seriously… it is cluelessness and it is *absolutely* a core belief that the pure of heart are automatically innocent of hateful speech, so they don’t even pay attention to what comes out of their own mouths.
And I don’t know about this guys politics, but clearly he’s anti-big business, corporate greed, etc.
So there you go.
My little 22 year-old brother is autistic, and he works at Burger King. If you want to know how severe his autism is, think Dustin Hoffman in Rainman or Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Those would give you a pretty good idea of what my brother is like.
He loves working at Burger King. He just comes in about 12-15 hours a week, during the busy lunch hour, and does simple things, i.e. taking out the trash, wiping tables, and collecting used trays. It gives him some extra money and a huge sense of accomplishment. Not a lot of companies can (and will) hire mentally disabled folks like my brother, so I applaud places like Burger King and McDonald’s for doing so.
I’m a huge fan of shock humor, but making fun of “retards” working in fast food places is crossing the line. Instead of making fun of “retards” who were born that way, can’t help it, and are just doing the best they can, why not make fun of those who are retards by choice? You know, like Ted Kennedy or Maureen Dowd. Or Morgan Spurlock, from the looks of it…
Some people are born retarded but this dude is a self-made man.
What ClobberGirl said! Dominick’s Finer Foods in Chicago is an unsung hero for creating long-term employment opportunties for chronically mentally ill and developmentally disabled men and women.
In utilizing the “free speech” defense inre his sophmoric behavior, Spurlock reveals his inner child is to be in charge of his conduct. It goes to show how little regard he has for civil rights when he claims that assinine behavior is the best means of illustrating the importance of what is perhaps our most important personal freedom.
Just once, I’d like one of these schmucks to admit they’re boorish, immature and self-indulgent and, but for “The Arts”, they’d have no means of employment. It would be the the most powerful truth they’d ever spoken.
What if this guy was being sincere? His explanation sounds plausible enough. And this wouldn’t be the first time that the media has completely misrepresented and overblown what someone has said. Spurlock, in his letter, explained each of the purportedly offensive statements and outlined the context in which they were made. Assuming that he’s telling the truth, his statements don’t really seem nearly as bad as people are making them to be. He’s a man in his 30’s trying to connect with teenagers. That’s not easy. I say give Spurlock the benefit of the doubt and cut him a little slack.