Director Spike Lee announced that he is re-editing the latest episode of his 9/11 documentary after admitting he believes a conspiracy theory that the attacks were caused by controlled demolition.
“I’m back in the editing room watching the eighth and final chapter of NYC EPICENTERS 9/11➔2021½. I respectfully ask that you hold your judgment until you see the FINAL CUT,” read a statement Lee posted to an HBO exclusive platform.
There were also opinions from experts who closely studied the 9/11 attacks, including S. Shyam Sunder, who led a lengthy investigation for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who has debunked conspiracy theories about the terror attacks.
Lee’s decision to make final edits and release previews with scientists appears to be an attempt at damage control. The turnaround comes after mounting criticism that the documentary didn’t offer an even balance of arguments, and even sided with conspiracy theorists by giving them a platform just weeks before the atrocity’s 20th anniversary.
Spike Lee announced that he was re-editing the latest episode of his 9/11 documentary after being criticized for using conspiracy theorists.
He discussed his new documentary series New York City Epicenters 9/11 to 2021 1/2, which includes interviews with a conspiracy theory group
The final episode, which airs on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, features several members of “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” – a group that has suggested that the United States government was involved in the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
In an interview with The New York Times on Monday, Lee admitted that he believed the 7 World Trade Center skyscraper could not have collapsed because of the heat, and rather resembled an internal demolition.
The original WTC 7 was a 42-story building, built in 1987, and filmed falling to the ground after the Twin Towers collapsed. Some angles showed the seemingly undamaged tower collapsing on its own footprint, which controlled demolition claims. But images from the other side of the building show a huge cut caused by falling debris.
World Trade Center 7 included a New York office for the CIA, leading to further inside job conspiracies. But units in the building were available for anyone to rent, and experts claim there was no government plan to destroy it.
Critics have argued that the arguments of conspiracy theorists and scientists should not be presented to the public as if they are in the same field of expertise.
Jeremy Stahl, editor for Slate, wrote in an article for the magazine: “In terms of conveying facts, this is a bit like presenting Covid-19 vaccine skeptics in a debate alongside Anthony Fauci, or Holocaust deniers next to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, or a cabal of climate skeptics alongside the authors of the United Nations IPCC report’
But Lee has defended the content of his series, saying viewers have a right to hear arguments from both sides.
‘My approach is to put the information in the film and let people decide for themselves. I respect the intelligence of the public,” he said.
The documentary also features interviews with New York politicians such as Senator Chuck Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with various health professionals, firefighters and activists.
He said the New York police declined to be interviewed in his documentary because of his views on the police.
When Times reporter Reggie Ugwu asked Lee about the group’s inclusion in the documentary series, Lee replied, “I mean, I have questions, and I hope the legacy of this documentary is maybe Congress holding a hearing, a hearing of the congress, around 9/11.’
Ugwu then asked Lee whether he believes the “official explanations” for the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, to which Lee claimed, “The amount of heat required to melt steel does not reach that temperature.
“And then the juxtaposition of the way building 7 fell to the ground — if you put it next to other building collapses that were demolition, it’s like looking at the same thing,” Lee said in the interview.
At that point, Ugwu asked Lee why he believes in 9/11 conspiracies but doesn’t support conspiracy theories about vaccines or the 2020 election, to which Lee joked, “People are going to think what they think regardless.
“I’m not dancing around your question,” he said. ‘People are going to think what they think.’
He noted, “People have called me a racist because of Do the Right Thing. People said in Mo’ Better Blues, I was anti-Semitic, She’s Gotta Have It, that was misogynistic.
“People are just going to think what they think,” Lee said. ‘And you know what? I’m still here, doing four decades of filmmaking.’
Smoke and flames erupted from the Twin Towers before finally collapsing
All that was left in the wake of the Twin Towers was steel
WTC7 wreckage is pictured after the 9/11 attacks – the way it collapsed after the Twin Towers sparked conspiracy theories that it had been knocked down by explosives
The new building that replaced the original World Trade Center 7 is pictured here, but the conspiracy theories continue
The theory of controlled demolition has been around since the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, when Building 7 was hit by debris from the Twin Towers and damaged by fires, which burned for seven hours until it was completely destroyed at about 5 a.m. 20 hours
Some proponents of the theory suggest the building was demolished because it may have served as an operations center for the demolition of the Twin Towers, while others suggest government insiders may have wanted to destroy corporate fraud files.
Loose Change film producer Dylan Avery once said he found the building’s destruction suspicious because it housed a CIA office, a Secret Service outpost, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the city’s emergency command center.
But the United States Special Operations Command has said anyone could have rented space in the building.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology also investigated the claims and “find no corroborating evidence for alternative hypotheses suggesting that the World Trade Towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives planted before September 11, 2001.”
“Instead, photos and videos from different angles clearly show that the collapse started at the fire and impact floors, and that the collapse progressed from the first floors down until the dust clouds obscured the view.”
Lee has been a top Democratic donor and campaigned for far-left politicians in recent years.
Lee has been a major Democratic donor and campaigned for far-left politicians
In 2012, FOX reports, he hosted Obama during a fundraiser at his Manhattan home, and in 2016 he campaigned for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ahead of the primaries, even in a radio ad for the senator.
In 2019, Lee staged a sold-out fundraiser for now Vice President Kamala Harris at Martha’s Vineyard.
He has said the NYPD declined to be interviewed in his new documentary because of his unflattering portrayal of the police in the past.
“The only people who said no was the NYPD,” Lee said in the interview. ‘They don’t look good here.
‘And that footage’ [of police officers assaulting Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020] does not lie. They were cracking.’