Viewers no longer will have access to 30-minutes’ worth of commentary on conspiracy theories about the tragic events of September 11 in Spike Lee‘s latest docuseries “NYC Epicenters: 9/11-2021 ½.” The veteran Hollywood director removed the segment after facing backlash from critics who accused his remarks of perpetuating a narrative that the World Trade Center building may have been secretly blown up.
On Thursday, Aug. 26, an edited version of the series, which no longer featured interviews about what caused the Twin Towers to collapse, was uploaded instead. Only one theory presented cast doubt on Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers regained control of the plane after it had been hijacked. The theory speculates the aircraft was instead shot down; that portion in the episode remains.
During an interview with the outlet published on Monday, Aug. 23, the 64-year-old admitted he still had “questions” about the heinous attacks that claimed 2,977 lives across New York City, Washington, D.C., and outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania. “The amount of heat that it takes to make steel melt, that temperature’s not reached. And then the juxtaposition of the way Building 7 fell to the ground — when you put it next to other building collapses that were demolitions, it’s like you’re looking at the same thing,” the New York native began. “But people going to make up their own mind. My approach is put the information in the movie and let people decide for themselves. I respect the intelligence of the audience.”
Many took to social media where they voiced concerns over the “Do the Right Thing” director’s statements, including one Twitter user who commented, “When did facts and truth fly out the window…and conspiracies take over!”
Another person wrote, “How could any reasonable adult look at the events that day and believe the 9/11 Commission Report? The fires were so powerful that they took down WTC7 (lol) but we were still able to find passports in the streets (and red bandanas, remember) to justify war.”
“And just like that, @spikeLee has lost all credibility with me. On anything. Irresponsible, horrible judgement,” expressed a third.
“Why are you allowing this @HBOMax, this country, not to mention rest of the world, is crazed enough, why are you adding to it, Spike Lee, really?” questioned another. “Is this just to make money, probably, but you are helping hammer in the nails, you’re pathetic.”
The four-part series is available for viewing on HBO and HBO Max.