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Spike Lee Defends Interviewing 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists in His HBO Doc Series: ‘I Got Questions’

Filmmaker raises doubts about official explanation for how the towers fell and calls for new congressional hearings

Spike Lee in an interview with The New York Times from Monday explained why one episode of his documentary series on the anniversary of 9/11 includes interviews with conspiracy theorists about how the towers fell, adding that he shares some of their questions.

As part of his HBO doc series “NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021½,” Lee in the final episode interviews members of the conspiracy group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. And he was asked why he wanted to include their perspective in the film alongside other politicians and people who lost loved ones in the attack.

“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.

When pressed whether he buys the official explanation, Lee echoed a popular conspiracy theory about whether jet fuel can melt steel beams that caused the World Trade Center towers to collapse. The National Institute for Standards and Technology has accepted the official explanation and has often refused to debate conspiracy theorists. And many have debated whether even indulging those perspectives gives the ideas credence.

“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.”

The New York Times reporter challenged the conspiracy theory and said that Lee doesn’t ask people to “make up your own mind” when it comes to the vaccine or to the results of the election.

“People are going to think what they think, regardless. I’m not dancing around your question. People are going to think what they think,” he replied. “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.”

Read Spike Lee’s full interview with The New York Times here.