So it turns out HBO isn’t cool with Spike Lee spreading 9/11 truther nonsense after all

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HBO is one episode into its four-episode docuseries from Spike Lee, NYC Epicenters: 9/11-2021½, and critics revealed that the final episode, scheduled to air on September 11 (which will also be the 20th anniversary of the terrible day), featured so many interviews with 9/11 truthers as to be an endorsement of the conspiracy theories. Lee has agreed to re-edit the final episode after previously saying that he has “questions” about what happened and giving an interview with the New York Times in which he perpetuated the “jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams” nonsense.

“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 Judgement Until You See The FINAL CUT,” Lee said in a statement sent by HBO.

As Slate points out, by giving a platform to the 9/11 truthers a platform, Lee is opening up a rabbit hole of all sorts of dangerous ideas that don’t just stick to 9/11.  Somewhere at HBO, there are lawyers and a team of publicists who have had a VERY HARD WEEK.

(And this is just an aside, but the other day courtesy of a podcast I am very fond of, “Unexplained” by Richard MacLean Smith, I learned of William Cooper, the man who can credibly be called the Granddaddy of Conspiracy Theorists. This man birthed the 9/11 truther movement, inspired the Oklahoma City Bombing and Alex Jones, and is a large inspiration for QAnon. And based on this excerpt from one of his shows, it’s clear that whether they realize it, he helped create the logic of the anti-vaxx movement that is literally killing over 1,000 Americans a day:

“You must not believe anything you hear on this show,” Cooper declared. Nor was the listener to believe anything they heard from any other shortwave host, “or Larry King Live, Dan Rather, George Bush, Bill Clinton, or anyone else in this entire world, whether you hear it on radio, on television, or from the lips of someone standing right in front of you.

“Listen to everyone, read everything, believe nothing until you, yourself, can prove it with your own research,” Cooper told the audience. “Only free‐thinking, intelligent people who are prepared to root through all the crap and get at the truth should be listening to this show. Everyone else should just turn off their radio. We don’t even want you to listen.

Listen to everyone. Read everything, believe nothing . . . until you can prove to yourself whether it is true or false or lies between the many shades of gray. If you don’t do this, if you cannot do this, or are just plain too lazy to do this, then I can assure you that you will march into the New World Order as a docile slave.”

Anyway, I just find it fascinating that we can trace so many of our current problems and mass insanity back to this one man. It is a piece of conspiracy lore that I didn’t know much about until this week, but feels particularly relevant thanks to, you know, EVERYTHING.

OH! And please do not go read Cooper’s anti-Semitic nonsense and become convinced that he was onto something — I introduced you to him to illuminate where a lot of these ideas were spawned, not to create a new lunatic. Please and thank you.)

Sony is standing behind Mike Richards as executive producer of Jeopardy! despite … everything. Honestly, I think he should be fired just for overseeing this entire debacle if for nothing else.

Brace yourselves, San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore: rat erotica courtesy of John Oliver is on its way to your town.

You’ll soon be able to spend the night in the Cobra Kai house, if that’s something you’re interested in.

Of COURSE Lisa Rinna isn’t happy her beautiful 20-year-old daughter is dating a 38-year-old Kardashian hanger-on and abusive asshole, who would be?

The Flash is going to return on The CW with a five-part crossover event and I continue to marvel (pun intended) at our culture’s seemingly insatiable hunger for superhero material. ~she typed while mentally calling herself a hypocrite for being close to finishing season two of The Boys which she enjoys very much~

Not strictly TV, but sending good wishes for Letitia Wright’s speedy recovery.

RACIAL Justice

Rachel Nichols, the ESPN broadcaster who was recorded last year suggesting that her colleague Maria Taylor only got her anchor job because she is Black, has been let go at the network and her show, The Jump, has been canceled. Bye. (How long until she’s hired at Fox News?)

The PBS animated series Wild Kratts has recast the voice of Koki with Sabryn Rock, a Black actress. The Black character had been voiced by a white actress for six seasons.

Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely after mocking an Asian player’s accent.

BBC is handing over the keys to Black broadcasters for a whole 24 hours on September 10. It’s a start.

The BBC has also announced an initiative to find shows from underrepresented groups, including Asian and disabled creators.

Morgan Wallen’s comeback continues afoot.

Renewals

Cancellations

In Development

  • Full Circle, a limited drama directed by Steven Soderbergh, is in development at HBO.
  • The Changeling, a horror drama series starring LaKeith Stanfield, has been ordered at Apple TV+.
  • Prêt-à-Porter is being turned into a TV series at Paramount+.
  • Candy Coated Christmas, an original movie, has been ordered at Food Network and will stream on Discovery+.
  • House of Hammer, a docuseries about the Hammer family, has been ordered at Discovery+.
  • A TV project about Steve Madden’s life starring Michael Rappaport is in the works.
  • Funny Girl, an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel starring Gemma Arterton, has been ordered at Sky.
  • A Town Called Malice, a crime thriller, has also been ordered at Sky.
  • Broadmoor, a drama series, is in the works at CBS Studios for a UK audience.
  • George Pelecanos has signed a two-year overall deal with HBO.

Casting News

Mark Your Calendars

  • American Horror Story: Double Feature debuted last night. Here’s a peek at the second half of the season:
  • Goliath will return on Amazon on September 24.
  • Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem will premiere on Peacock on September 6.
  • Star Trek Day will be celebrated on Paramount+ on September 8.
  • Ilana Glazer Presents Comedy on Earth: NYC 2020-2021 will premiere on Comedy Central on September 10.
  • NCIS: Hawaii will premiere on CBS on September 20.
  • Code 404 will return on Peacock on September 23.
  • Ready to Love will return on OWN on October 15.
  • The Old Ways is available to stream on Netflix now.
  • Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs will premiere on HBO Max on September 30.
  • Mumbai Diaries will debut on Amazon on September 9.
  • The Harry Potter movies will all be available on HBO Max beginning September 1.
  • Tamron Hall will return in syndication on September 6.
  • Condor will return on Epix on November 7.
  • Cake will return on FXX on September 30.
  • All of the Jaws movies will be available on Netflix on September 16.

R.I.P.

Michael Nader, Actor known for his role as Dimitri Marick on All My Children, along with roles on the original Dynasty, As the World Turns, Law & Order: SVU, and others

WATCH THIS

The Other Two: This charming comedy about the older siblings of a Justin-Bieber-esque sensation receives a second life and a second season on HBO Max. Season premiere. HBO Max

Making It: The finalists have to make a “happy place” in the season finale. 8 p.m., NBC

Monster in the Shadows: A look into the disappearance of Brittney Wood, and the shocking revelation about her family that led to her being all but forgotten about in Alabama. Series premiere. Peacock

PEN15: A little animated special featuring Anna and Maya. Premiere. Hulu

See: Season two premiere. Apple TV+

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Camila Cabello, Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Michael Shannon, Hannah Einbinder, Jerome Flood II
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Terry Crews, Lorde
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Thandiwe Newton, Izzy G., Belly, guest host RuPaul
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