Spike Lee Is Promoting 9/11 Conspiracy Theories in New Docuseries
"I mean, I got questions"
Published Aug 24, 2021Renowned director Spike Lee is treading some contentious territory in his new HBO documentary series New York Epicenters: 9/11-2021½. Apparently, that includes giving a platform to infamous conspiracy theorist organization Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
When pressed by the New York Times on his decision to spotlight the rhetoric of a group whose claims have notoriously been found lacking in evidence, Lee's responses seemed to suggest that he also thought the attack on the World Trade Center was an inside job.
"I mean, I got questions," he said. "And I hope that maybe the legacy of this documentary is that Congress holds a hearing; a congressional hearing about 9/11."
The director continued: "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."
These concerns have been debunked — repeatedly — but perhaps Lee hadn't gotten that far in his research. Either way, he framed the inclusion of conspiracy theories as a directional effort to create an exposition of every side to every story.
"People are going to make up their own mind," he said. "My approach is put the information in the movie and let people decide for themselves. I respect the intelligence of the audience."
People are going to think what they think. People have called me a racist for Do the Right Thing. People said in Mo' Better Blues I was antisemitic. 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.
Even if that's true, it doesn't justify spreading misinformation — which interviewer Reggie Ugwu points out, "You don't say 'make up your own mind' about whether or not the vaccine is poison."
Lee could only stick to his evasion of accountability: "People are going to think what they think, regardless."
Episode 1 of New York Epicenters: 9/11-2021½ premiered on HBO on August 22, while the other three parts are forthcoming, but it sounds like this docuseries is probably a safe one to skip, folks.
Last year, it was announced that Lee would direct a musical about Viagra.