Spike Lee pulls conspirators off HBO 9/11 series after criticism

Responding quickly to criticism that an episode of his 9/11 HBO documentary series gave credence to conspiracy theories, filmmaker Spike...


Responding quickly to criticism that an episode of his 9/11 HBO documentary series gave credence to conspiracy theories, filmmaker Spike Lee released to the media on Thursday a new final cut that removes all interviews about what caused the World Trade Center buildings. Collapse.

Mr. Lee’s series, “NYC Epicenters 9 / 11-2021½,” explores how the city weathered terrorist attacks and the coronavirus pandemic through interviews with New Yorkers and footage of the crises. The first part of the four-part, eight-hour series kicked off on Sunday. The final segment – which has been the subject of criticism – is due to be broadcast on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

The episode, which was reduced from two hours to 90 minutes, had highlighted interviews with members of the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth conspiracy group – who defend the debunked view that the buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition, not by terrorist attacks. The conspiracy group’s arguments had been juxtaposed with interviews with experts who had studied the collapse as part of a government investigation, including S. Shyam Sunder, who led a survey of several years in disaster for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In the new change, the entire 30-minute discussion is deleted.

After the New York Times published an interview with Mr. Lee in which he defended the episode, he and HBO were exposed online by journalists who criticized them for appearing to give an equal voice to both sides.

Wednesday, Mr. Lee said he went back to the editing room, and the episode was deleted from an HBO platform that is used to broadcast previews to members of the news media. HBO did not provide a rationale for the new cut. A representative for Mr. Lee declined to comment.

Ronald Hamburger, who investigated the tower collapse for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and also appeared in the episode’s original cut, said in an interview Thursday that Mr. Lee had interviewed him for the series about two months ago. The interview, which Hamburger said lasted about 10 minutes, focused on controlled demolition conspiracy theories.

Mr Hamburger, who no longer appears in the episode, said he explained to Mr Lee that based on his work at the site and hundreds of hours of analysis, he concluded that the cause did not was not a controlled demolition.

“I understood in my discussions with him that he wanted to give them credit,” Mr. Hamburger said of conspiracy theories.

In his previous interview with the New York Times, Mr. Lee appeared to question the official explanation for the collapse of buildings, including 7 World Trade Center, which investigators determined were destroyed by fire. They concluded that heat from the fire caused the beams of the steel floor to expand, and the steel beams under the floors that provided lateral support for the tower structural columns began to buckle or put pressure against the vertical structural columns.

“The amount of heat it takes to melt steel, that temperature is not reached,” Lee told The Times, alluding to a popular conspiracy theory. “And then the juxtaposition of how 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. make up their own mind.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Spike Lee pulls conspirators off HBO 9/11 series after criticism
Spike Lee pulls conspirators off HBO 9/11 series after criticism
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