The latest documentary series from acclaimed director Spike Lee focusing on the changes New York City has gone through is now undergoing some last-minute editing due to backlash concerning one of the episodes due to one group’s involvement and some comments made by Lee in an interview.
The new eight-hour series, NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½, made its debut on HBO this past Sunday night (August 22nd). NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½ intently explores how New York City has been molded by the past twenty years spanning from the attacks of September 11th, 2011, with key looks at the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last episode of the series has drawn a flurry of backlash from those who saw early screenings of it, pointing out Lee’s inclusion of 9/11 skeptic groups including the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. In fact, Lee spoke about this decision and his comments that seemed to align with theirs in a recent Q&A with the New York Times stating: “(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.” He also stated that he hoped Congress will pursue an investigation.
On Wednesday (August 25th), the director posted a note to the site where the screeners for the series were hosted which read, “I’m Back In The Editing Room And Looking At The Eighth And Final Chapter Of NYC EPICENTERS 9/11➔2021½. I Respectfully Ask You To Hold Your Judgment Until You See The FINAL CUT.”
It remains to be seen what changes are being made, but given that the final episode coincides with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Do The Right Thing director is possibly keen on making sure that the ensuing controversy will be minimized the best way possible.