Spike Lee to edit 9/11 docuseries after backlash to conspiracy inclusion

"People are going to just think what they think," the acclaimed film director told The New York Times in an interview.

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Acclaimed film director Spike Lee is asking audiences to withhold their final judgment about NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021½, his docuseries about 9/11 for HBO, following the backlash to him including conspiracy theories in the project. 

According to The Wrap, a new final cut of the fourth episode in Lee’s series is forthcoming. He acknowledged the changes in a press screener’s update, saying, “I’m Back In The Editing Room And Looking At The Eighth And Final Chapter Of NYC EPICENTERS 9/11➔2021½.”

Acclaimed film director Spike Lee (above) is asking audiences to withhold their final judgment about his pending docuseries about 9/11 for HBO, “NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021½.” (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Kering)

In his statement, he asked, “I Respectfully Ask You To Hold Your Judgement Until You See The FINAL CUT.”

The first episode has already debuted on HBO, premiering last Sunday. Lee was asked by The New York Times why he chose to include conspiracy theories about the tragic event alongside his exclusive interviews with politicians and families of those who were lost to the coronavirus pandemic in New York.

Lee explores the correlations between 9/11 and COVID-19.

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Spike Lee attends the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar in January 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Critics’ Choice Awards)

“Because I still don’t … I mean, I got questions. And I hope that maybe the legacy of this documentary is that Congress holds a hearing, a congressional hearing about 9/11,” Lee said.

“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,” Lee said. “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.”

Lee also added that he encourages audiences to make up their own mind regarding vaccinations against COVID-19 — and even the 2020 presidential election. 

The longtime Brooklyn filmmaker is vaccinated against the virus, having shared his inoculation on social media. He received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at NYU Langone in February.

“I’m hoping that if my brothers and sisters see me getting the vaccine,” Lee said at the time, “that perhaps they’ll do some research and think about getting this vaccine because this is not a hoax.”

“People are going to think what they think,” he told The Times. “People have called me a racist for ‘Do the Right Thing.’ People said in ‘Mo’ Better Blues’ I was anti-Semitic. ‘She’s Gotta Have It,’ that was misogynist. People are going to just think what they think. And you know what? I’m still here, going on four decades of filmmaking.”

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