It seems that Spike Lee has decided to do the right thing. The filmmaker has reportedly removed segments from his new HBO docuseries, NYC Epicenters: 9/11-2021½, that give a platform to repeatedly debunked 9/11 truther conspiracies.
As Variety reports, Lee has excised almost 30 minutes from the series’ final episode — which is scheduled to air on September 11th. According to an HBO spokesperson, “all the exchange and theories about how the towers collapsed” have been removed. Originally, the episode would have seen Lee interviewing members of the fringe conspiracy group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
The fourth and final episode of NYC Epicenters was released in advanced to the media last week, and Lee said in an interview with The New York Times that he “got questions” about the Twin Towers’ collapse. “And I hope that maybe the legacy of this documentary is that Congress holds a hearing, a congressional hearing about 9/11,” he added.
The remarks spurred instant controversy, especially because the facts about the buildings’ steel beams and their melting points have been explained ad nauseam. Almost immediately after the NYT story ran, Lee announced he was going back into the editing booth. Whether someone finally explained this to Spike Lee or the outcry made him realize platforming conspiracy nuts on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 was in poor taste, it seems the filmmaker bowed to the pressure of the general consensus — aka, the truth.
Lee’s NYC Epicenters: 9/11-2021½ seeks to tell stories of the “life, loss, and survival of New York City ranging from the 9/11 terrorist attack to the COVID-19 pandemic.” It premiered this past weekend, and the remaining episodes will debut on HBO at 10:00 p.m. ET over the next three Sundays. Watch the trailer below.