Spike Lee: venerated director, Academy Award winner, and 9/11 conspiracy theorist? The storied filmmaker — who is currently doing press for his new HBO documentary series NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021½ about New York survival from 9/11 to COVID-19 — revealed in a recent New York Times interview that he has “questions” about the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
“The amount of heat that it takes to make steel melt, that temperature’s not reached,” Lee said, invoking the conspiracy argument-turned-meme that “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” in response to Times reporter Reggie Ugwu’s question about why Lee’s new HBO series included interviews with the conspiracy group Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, who believe that 9/11 was a controlled demolition and thus an inside job. Lee, apparently considering this belief, continued: “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.”
But let no one say that Lee is an unreasonable 9/11 truther. In the interview, he maintained that he would rather let people “make up their own mind.” In his words: “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, regardless.”
While Lee admitted that he does hope his documentary prompts Congress to hold a “congressional hearing about 9/11” two decades after the fact, mostly he’s just busy respecting our intelligence and letting loose some speculation. As a television viewer, it is an honor to be challenged like this.