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MTV gets cold feet, or does it?
May 27, 2004 3:57 AM   Subscribe

This turns into one of those cases where researching a story gets weirder. The documentary Super Size Me centers on a documentary filmmaker's 30 day experience eating nothing but McDonalds. The film is doing amazingly well as a limited release documentary grossing more per screen than high-budget Troy. Here is the weird part, Reuters has picked up on a distributor press release claiming that MTV is refusing to air advertising for Super Size Me because the film is "disparaging to fast-food restaurants". The Reuters short seems to have quite a bit of legs. However a Hollywood Reporter article details MTVs side of the story placing the blame on the film's distributor. Is this really a case of a network getting cold feet? Or is it a case of distributor trying to pull the "too edgy for MTV" moneymaking ploy? And what is with the continually morphing Reuters clip that is just now being tossed onto doorsteps and stuffed into newsboxes across North America? (The film was previously discussed on metafilter back in January.
posted by KirkJobSluder (23 comments total)

 
"Too edgy for MTV" doesn't mean anything any more, if it ever did.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:31 AM on May 27, 2004


The movie is great; Empty Vee is doubtless under corporate control.

This article, while only tangentially related to the FPP, is a counterpoint worth reading.
posted by dfowler at 8:21 AM on May 27, 2004


Well, let's see-- Super Size Me is having ad problems, Fahrenheit 911 still doesn't have a distributor, and the must-see Control Room is playing in one theater in the country... kinda makes you wonder how The Corporation will fare.
posted by muckster at 8:37 AM on May 27, 2004


I saw The Corporation here in Montreal on Monday. It was awesomely depressing and moving.
posted by jon_kill at 9:01 AM on May 27, 2004


MTV has aired Truth anti-smoking & anti-Big Tobacco ads, AIDS awareness spots and PSAs about tolerance toward minorities and gays for as long as I can remember watching it. Frankly, Super Size Me seems like the least edgy thing it could advertise. "Corporate Control" (alarmist square quotes mine) over MTV has been awfully open-minded from what I've seen.
posted by dhoyt at 9:09 AM on May 27, 2004


Yeah, I just admitted a near-lifelong MTV addiction.
Kill me.
posted by dhoyt at 9:16 AM on May 27, 2004


The content MTV initially found objectionable in the "Super Size Me" commercial was a shot of Spurlock vomiting after ingesting a hamburger and a reference that Spurlock makes about how the hamburger could "kill." [From the Hollywood Reporter article]

You'll forgive me if I find it hard to believe that MTV, the channel that brought us "Jackass", has issues with showing a brief shot of a guy vomiting after eating a hamburger.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 9:34 AM on May 27, 2004


I saw The Corporation in Kingston, Ontario several months ago. It originally got top billing at the Queen's Human Rights film fest, and proved so popular that they could've filled the theatre at least twice over. It ended up playing at one of our local theatres for a few weeks, to surprisingly (to me) large crowds. I also saw that it was on TVO a little while ago.

It was quite good, but I thought it could've used a bit of editing - 3 hours? Yikes.
posted by chumptastic at 9:34 AM on May 27, 2004


You mean scare quotes.

AIDS awareness, Rock the Vote, and tolerance PSAs don't cut into anybody's market share. Alerting people to the dangers of eating fast food will.
posted by muckster at 9:41 AM on May 27, 2004


Hey now, they have Trojan ads on MTV, so AIDS awareness is a co-branding advertising tie-in; lets not give them credit for magnanimous behavior where none exists =p
posted by nomisxid at 10:33 AM on May 27, 2004


I haven't seen the movie, but the following steps show my problem with it:

1.Pick your favourite restaurant.
2. Eat every meal at that restaurant, for one month.
3. See how you feel.

I bet you won't feel too hot. Is that your favourite restaurant's fault?
posted by hammurderer at 10:48 AM on May 27, 2004


Oprah's Trainer Stands by McDonald's
posted by thomcatspike at 11:05 AM on May 27, 2004


You mean scare quotes.

i miss suck.com.
posted by kjh at 12:38 PM on May 27, 2004


1.Pick your favorite restaurant.
2. Eat every meal at that restaurant, for one month.
3. See how you feel.



Mmmm....I'd be willing to do that if someone else was footing the bill. My favorite restaurant is pretty pricey...we budget to be able to go there 2 or 3 times a year. (Actually, if we didn't order wine, it's probably on the upper end of reasonable, truth be told. I have an expensive wine habit.)

But considering the astounding things that the chef does with vegetables, I'm willing to bet that I'd come out a whole lot healthier than eating preformed grease patties. And the selection changes daily, depending on what the local farmers have and what the local organic meat producers have...so it would be a lot more interesting to eat there too.
posted by dejah420 at 1:15 PM on May 27, 2004


Actually, the reason things went so poorly for him is that he ate 5,000(!) calories a day plus quit exercising. If he ate three non-supersized meals a day at McD's, he wouldn't in such bad shape.
posted by haqspan at 1:44 PM on May 27, 2004


Don't y'all be knockin' sliders here. A good slider helps clear ya out. Greases the system, if you will. YuM!
posted by five fresh fish at 1:48 PM on May 27, 2004


Those Truth ads are great. I never knew smoking was bad for you. Thank god somebody finally had the guts to say something.
posted by Bonzai at 2:26 PM on May 27, 2004


Chumptastic, I just saw The Corporation. Lots and lots of interesting stuff, but like you said, they should have either focused it tighter--or made two, three seperate movies out of it. It'll be interesting to see how it does when it opens here next week.
posted by muckster at 6:17 PM on May 27, 2004


This points out the sad state of the victim culture. This guy goes out and eats 4000+ calories a day, doesn't excercise and generally goes out of his way to make the worst possible choiuces in his diet and then blames the fast food industry for it all.

For an encore he will no doubt drink nothing but water for 30 days and blame Evian when he feels weak from hunger.

And people buy this, they think it is "important" and "revelaing"; some sort of social commentary.

You know, it's probably not hard to put together a much healthier diet at a fast food place these days... but then he wouldn't be leveraging himself all this publicity.
posted by soulhuntre at 7:50 AM on May 28, 2004


It's interesting that the very idea of "Super Size Me" gets people riled up enough to defend Ronald McDonald without ever having seen the movie. Spurlock answers all of your arguments in the film. It's instructive how threatened some of you get when someone attacks your beloved Big Macs.
posted by muckster at 8:05 AM on May 28, 2004


This points out the sad state of the victim culture. This guy goes out and eats 4000+ calories a day, doesn't excercise and generally goes out of his way to make the worst possible choiuces in his diet and then blames the fast food industry for it all.

See the movie first. It's not great, but it does make you think about things like diet and whether or not food corporations really care about what's going into your body and whether it is healthy or not.

Nowhere in the movie does Spurlock say that people DO eat only McDonald's, that's more of a thread that ties the film together in my opinion. And a hilarious one.
posted by mikeyb at 10:56 AM on May 28, 2004


whether or not food corporations really care about what's going into your body and whether it is healthy or not.
honestly McD's tastes bland.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:35 AM on May 28, 2004


Nowhere in the movie does Spurlock say that people DO eat only McDonald's, that's more of a thread that ties the film together in my opinion. And a hilarious one.

In the first linked interview, one of the comments he makes is that the popularity of McDonald's is spilling over into other areas as well. (Such as the availability of soft drinks in school lunchrooms.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:48 PM on May 28, 2004


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