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The September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001 had a significant impact on broadcast and venue entertainment businesses, prompting cancellations, postponements, and changes in content. In the United States and several other countries, planned television screenings of films and fictional programs where terrorism, plane crashes, bombs, or other related disasters were the primary subject were postponed or cancelled.
Numerous films were cancelled that were in production, and many films were edited. The most common way of editing was to delete or obscure shots of the World Trade Center and events similar to the attacks. There were various reasons given for the alterations, including keeping material up-to-date, as a gesture of respect for those who died, and to avoid trauma for those emotionally affected by the attack. There are also many films which notably were not edited.
In all, roughly 45 films were edited or postponed because of the 9/11 attacks.
With the World Trade Center removed
- The teaser trailer for Spider-Man was removed from circulation, as it featured Spider-Man capturing a helicopter filled with criminals in a web spun between the twin towers. A poster with the World Trade Center reflecting in Spider-Man's eyes was also recalled. A shot of the World Trade Center was deleted from the film, but it can be found on the Sony Pictures Stock Footage website. Two scenes were added to the film in response to the attacks. In the first, a group of New Yorkers attack the Green Goblin over the Queensboro Bridge, with one saying “You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us”. The second, a scene of Spider-Man hanging onto a flagpole with a large American flag, was seen in later trailers and at the end of the film.
- In the film Zoolander, theatrically released nearly three weeks after the attacks, the WTC was digitally deleted. In the 2016 Blu-ray release, the towers were reinserted.
- The WTC was removed from the poster for Sidewalks of New York, though the buildings were kept in the film.
- Shots of the WTC in Serendipity were digitally removed.
- The 2002 film Men in Black II featured a climax that included the World Trade Center. The building was changed to the Statue of Liberty.
- In the 2002 comedy film Mr. Deeds, the shots of the World Trade Center were partially seen. One was shot in the helicopter for the scene where Longfellow Deeds arrives in New York City, and one was shot in Upper West Side, which it shows the entire Manhattan. The towers were digitally removed in the scene where Longfellow Deeds and Chuck Cedar play tennis, which was shot in Roosevelt Island in spring 2001.
- In the 2002 film Stuart Little 2, shots of the World Trade Center were digitally removed.
- Shots of the WTC in Kissing Jessica Stein were removed before its release.
- Scenes of the WTC were removed from People I Know, but it can be found on the DVD release in the deleted scenes featurette.
- When the 1998 movie Armageddon premiered on ABC around April 2002, the scene in which the World Trade Center gets hit by meteors and catches on fire was edited out because of its similarity to the September 11 attacks.
- The 2002 film Igby Goes Down has several shots of the WTC towers edited out.
- The 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York features a scene atop the WTC, which was edited out on several television channels. However, as of Christmas 2018, the scene with the WTC was restored.
- The 1976 film King Kong involved the title character climbing the World Trade Center, with its DVD at the time reflecting this scene from the original poster art. Paramount Home Video re-issued the film with a new image on the cover after the attacks, recalling the former cover from retail sale and repackaging the contents with the new cover.
- In the 2002 horror film The Rats, the World Trade Center towers were digitally removed from the beginning where the rats cut the cables and causing the lights to go out from the Statue of Liberty in the night and the day. Also, it was originally set to be aired on September 11, 2001 (the same day of the attacks). After the incident, the film has been postponed for its 2002 release.
- The 1994 movie Léon: The Professional had at least one scene with WTC Twin Towers in the background digitally altered to remove them.
- 2000's The Watcher had its opening scene digitally altered to show 'The Freedom Tower' where WTC Towers 1 & 2 were originally depicted.
With the World Trade Center added
Some filmmakers have added the World Trade Center to films and television series that are set during periods when the buildings were still standing.
- The 2003 American miniseries Angels in America, set in 1985, had the WTC towers digitally re-inserted for historical accuracy.
- The 2004 film Miracle, set in 1979 and 1980, has a digital World Trade Center on the New York City skyline.
- The 2004 sequel film Spider-Man 2, North Tower and WTC 7 are seen in night, and the picture of Spider-Man jumping behind the World Trade Center towers is seen where Harry says "Where are you?".
- The 2005 film Munich shows a scene set in 1977 with the Twin Towers in the background.
- The 2005 film Rent, set in 1989 and 1990, includes a shot of the World Trade Center.
- The 2006 films World Trade Center and United 93, the 2009 film Diverted, and the 2017 film 9/11 take place on the day of the attacks and feature the buildings, with real footage of the second World Trade Center impact in 9/11.
- 2006 and 2007 biography films about Mark David Chapman's murder of John Lennon on December 8, 1980 feature the World Trade Center. In The Killing of John Lennon, the WTC is seen while the footage spins from Statue of Liberty where Mark David Chapman arrives in New York City from Hawaii and set on December 5, 1980, although the towers were removed where Chapman dances with the woman in Brooklyn Bridge. In Chapter 27, the World Trade Center is seen on the beginning where Chapman rides in a taxi cab on Brooklyn Bridge, though the towers were removed from the sunset in New York City.
- The 2008 film Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa contains a segment when the animals arrive in New York City, and the original World Trade Center twin towers are seen in the distance.
- The 2008 film The Wackness concludes with a scene depicting the Twin Towers in 1994.
- The 2009 film Watchmen, which takes place in 1985, features the twin towers in several of the scenes. Ironically the towers are depicted as two of the only buildings still standing after a scene featuring the destruction of New York City.
- The 2010 film Remember Me, which has an ending that takes place on September 11, 2001, shows digital recreations of the World Trade Center towers in the last scene of the film.
- The episode "Adrift" from the ABC series Lost added the World Trade Center in the second airing of the episode to establish the timeframe of the flashback.
- The ABC series Life On Mars, with a storyline that took place in 1973, showed a digitally-inserted World Trade Center in several episodes.
- The Fox series Fringe depicted an intact World Trade Center in a parallel universe. The buildings were revealed in the finale of season one. Season two explains that in the parallel universe, the 9/11 attacks resulted in damage to the White House instead of the towers.
- The 2014 film A Most Violent Year set in 1981 shows the World Trade Center in the background of several shots.
- On the 2015 Rogue Cut version of the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, The World Trade Center towers are seen and set in 1973 after Wolverine leaves to Manchester, New York.
- The 2015 film The Walk takes place on August 7, 1974, detailing the life of Philippe Petit. The film was dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 attacks and features a digital depiction of the towers.
- The 2016 sequel film X-Men: Apocalypse, the World Trade Center towers are seen during the destruction by Apocalypse, set in 1983.
- The 2017 thriller film 2:22 takes place in 1986, seen at the beginning scene.
- The 2019 biographical drama film about Fred Rogers and journalist Lloyd Vogel (a fictionalized version of profile writer Tom Junod), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, takes place in New York City and Pittsburgh in 1998. As an establishing shot, the film has the 1998 New York City skyline, including the Twin Towers, rendered in the style of the models seen in the opening of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
- The episode Peter and Lois' Wedding from Fox series Family Guy, the World Trade Center is seen throughout the episode and takes place in 1990s.
- In TV versions of the 1985 film Back to the Future, all terrorist references were removed and altered completely from several scenes. In the exterior Twin Pines Mall scene, where Marty McFly gets chased by the Libyans, the closer shots of the Libyans and Doc Brown's death scene were completely removed. In the scene where Marty writes a letter to 1955 Doc Brown at the cafe about the night that he went back in time, "by terrorists" was digitally erased from the letter: Marty's dialogue "Dear Dr. Brown, on the night that I go back in time, you will be shot by terrorists" was changed into "Dear Dr. Brown, on the night that I go back in time, you will be shot. Please—".
- In the 2002 re-release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the dialogue "You're not going as a terrorist", spoken by the mother, was replaced with, "You're not going as a hippie."
- In the TV version of the 2000 film Meet the Parents that aired on ABC Family, the scene near the end in which Greg gets into an argument with the airline stewardess and his subsequent interrogation by an airline official removes all references to the fact that Greg mentioned the word "bomb" on the airplane.
- The 1998 film Deep Impact portrays the wave that struck New York City crashing over and around the towers of the World Trade Center, which were the only buildings barely above water at the end of the sequence, surviving the wave. As a result of the attacks, some television broadcasts of the film were edited to remove the buildings. The tidal wave also incorrectly comes from the west from New Jersey, and not from the south, from the Atlantic Ocean.
- The 2002 movie Collateral Damage originally had Colombian actress Sofía Vergara playing the role of an airplane hijacker. Following the attacks, the scene where Vergara would hijack a plane was cut from the film. The film's release was also delayed by four months due to it being about terrorism.
- In the 2001 film Spy Game, the level of smoke shown following a bombing was reduced because of its similarity to the smoking WTC wreckage.
- A scene in The Time Machine, in which debris from the destroyed Moon crashes into a building, was edited due to its resemblance to the attacks.
- In some post-9/11 versions of the 1998 film The Siege, the World Trade Center towers were digitally removed from several shots of New York City.
- The ending to the 2002 animated film Lilo & Stitch was changed from Stitch, Jumba, Pleakley, and Nani hijacking a Boeing 747 to chase down Captain Gantu through the streets of Honolulu, to the four taking Jumba's spaceship and chasing Gantu around Hawaii's mountains. The original ending was included on the special edition DVD.
- The 2002 film The Bourne Identity was extensively reshot due to the fear of the CIA as the antagonist being wrongly interpreted as anti-Americanism. Due to the insistence of Matt Damon and Doug Liman, the footage wasn't included. On the special edition DVD are descriptions of how and why the film was changed.
- Early versions of the 2004 film The Incredibles featured a scene where a frustrated Mr. Incredible vents his emotions on an abandoned building, but ends up accidentally damaging a neighboring building as well. This was considered too reminiscent of the World Trade Center collapse, and was replaced with a scene where Mr. Incredible and Frozone rescue trapped civilians from a burning building.
- The 2000 film An Extremely Goofy Movie features a scene in which Max and Goofy save Tank from a tall burning and collapsing replica of the logo for ESPN's X Games; this scene was cut after the attacks due to a resemblance to the fire and collapse of each tower. The original pre-9/11 VHS and DVD releases remain the only available version of the film for consumer purchase. It remains on international broadcasts, and that source is also used for the Netflix and Disney+ versions.
- The 2001 movie Monsters, Inc. originally depicted a building exploding as part of a decontamination effort against human children, but was replaced with a plasma effect. The filmmakers described the decision to alter the film in the Blu-ray "round-table discussion" bonus feature.
- Although the 2002 film Maid in Manhattan began production in July 2001, principal photography took place on April 27, 2002 – June 6, 2002, and footage showing the World Trade Center towers was not used in the film.
- The release of View from the Top was originally scheduled for Christmas 2001, but because the story revolves around a flight attendant on numerous planes, the release was pushed back to March 21, 2003.
- The release of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage was postponed for four months. The film featured a terrorist bombing in front of an L.A. building.
- The release of Training Day was originally scheduled for September 21 but was then shifted two weeks to October 5 due to "a variety of reasons".
- The 2002 version of The Time Machine was held back three months because of a scene where a meteor shower destroys New York City. This scene was also removed.
- The film Big Trouble was postponed seven months because it involved a nuclear bomb being smuggled on board an aircraft.
- The 2002 action-comedy film Bad Company had its release date pushed back several months because the plot involved a criminal mastermind planning to detonate a bomb in the Grand Central Terminal.
- The Jeremy Irons film The Fourth Angel opened in several European countries before the events of 9/11. The tragedy combined with the commercial failure of other terrorist-themed films such as Collateral Damage led to the delay of its wider release, including in the US and UK. It was finally issued directly to DVD in the US in 2003.
- A Jackie Chan film called Nosebleed, about a window washer on the WTC who foils a terrorist plot, was due to start filming on September 11, 2001. Snopes questioned the suggestion that this was any kind of "narrow escape", pointing out the uncertain nature of film development and noting "it was almost certainly as part of a plan drawn up and abandoned long before September 2001".
- James Cameron planned to make a sequel to True Lies, but after the attacks, he canceled the project, saying that "terrorism is no longer something to be taken lightly."
- There were plans to have a sequel to Forrest Gump, but after the attacks, Eric Roth, Robert Zemeckis, and Tom Hanks said that the story was no longer "relevant".
Some films released after 9/11 kept scenes of the World Trade Center in them.
- For Vanilla Sky, director Cameron Crowe retained shots of the buildings in the final cut of the film, despite the producers asking for them to be cut.
- In Donnie Darko, which was released a month after the attacks, parts of a plane fall from the sky. It has been suggested that the darker themes of the film were responsible for its poor box office, but it nonetheless went on to become a cult classic in the years following.
- In the 2001 film Delivering Milo, World Trade Center is seen where Milo is at Ellis Island, while he rides in the boat. The film was released on October 28, 2001, about a month after the 9/11 attacks.
- In the 2001 documentary film Spider-Man - Once Upon a Time The Super Heroes!, released on December 23, 2001, after 3 months of the attacks and shot of the towers were kept and remained in the film as a tribute, it was not edited for the DVD release on June 17, 2002.
- In A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, released less than three months before the attacks, a scene set thousands of years in the future prominently featuring a badly damaged World Trade Center (albeit half-submerged in water), was not edited for its video release.
- In the 2002 black comedy film Death to Smoochy, the North Tower of the World Trade Center is seen where Rainbow Randolph is dancing on the small bench in Duane Park in Duane Street, Lower Manhattan. In the DVD commentary, Danny Devito explained that it was the only shot in the movie that was in and he designed the shot. It means that this movie was filmed from January to May 2001, four months before the 9/11 attacks.
- Gangs of New York, originally to be released on December 21, 2001 and was further delayed to its eventual release on December 20, 2002, ended in a shot of the contemporary New York City skyline containing the twin towers. The filmmakers had filmed the shot before the 9/11 attacks and later debated whether to remove the World Trade Center, have the towers dissolve out from the shot to signify their disappearance or remove the sequence entirely. They ultimately decided to keep the towers as originally intended.
- In Rush Hour 2, which was released a month before the attacks, several scenes where a bomb explodes at the United States Consulate General, murdering two undercover U.S. Customs agents inside of it, and Hu Li enters with a time bomb forcing two detectives Lee and Carter to escape on the makeshift zipline as she dies in the explosion at the Red Dragon Casino in Las Vegas, were not edited for its video release.
- Other films like Changing Lanes, Independence Day, Kate & Leopold, You Stupid Man, Glitter, The Guru, Empire, City by the Sea and World Traveler retained the buildings.
- Knockaround Guys was premiered on September 8, 2001, at the Oldenburg International Film Festival (3 days before the attacks) and released in theaters on October 11, 2002. The shots of the World Trade Center remained in the film.
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Television coverage of the September 11 attacks and their aftermath was the longest uninterrupted news event in the history of U.S. television, as the major U.S. broadcast networks were on the air for 93 continuous hours. From the moment the networks broadcast the news that the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, all programs and commercials were suspended, with all four networks broadcasting uninterrupted news coverage. This was the first time since the advent of cable and satellite television that a vast number of cable networks would suspend programming to air live news coverage of events. Programming on the cable and satellite channels was also altered in the immediate aftermath, as only appropriate re-runs were aired, and commercials were either changed, suspended, or replaced by PSA messaging to help the attack's victims. Millions of television viewers, watching live broadcasts of the attacks unfolding, would see the second plane hit the South Tower and both towers collapse.
This was the first time since the assassination of John F. Kennedy that TV networks announced that there would be no television commercials or programs for an indefinite period of several days after the attacks, as it was widely felt that it was an inappropriate time for "fun and entertainment" programs to be shown when so much death and destruction was being seen live on television. During the week of the attacks, evening news broadcasts for the networks nearly doubled its average viewership audience, and it was also estimated that American adults watched an average of eight hours of television a day, again nearly double the average viewership audience. To keep up with the constant flow of information, many news networks began running continuous updates in the form of a news ticker that crawled along the bottom of the screen, which soon became a permanent feature of many networks.
During the day of the attacks, and in the days following, news broadcasters scrambled to report accurate information. Occasionally, erroneous information was broadcast. An examination of CNN's coverage of September 11, 2001 (which was replayed online, virtually in its entirety, on the fifth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2006) reveals that following the attack on the Pentagon, CNN also reported a fire had broken out on the National Mall and that according to a wire report, a car bomb had exploded in front of the State Department. It also broadcast an interview with a witness to the Pentagon attack who said it was a helicopter that hit the building, not a plane. CNN was not alone in airing these or similar inaccurate reports, as the subsequent examination of coverage by other networks has shown.
Reaction of various networks
- The major English language broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) and two major Spanish language broadcasters (Univision and Telemundo) were in the last half-hour of airing their morning programs live in the Eastern and Central time zones: Good Morning America (ABC), The Early Show (CBS), Today (NBC), ¡Despierta América! (Univision), and Esta Mañana (Telemundo), respectively, at the time of the first attack. During the second attack, the networks had already suspended programming, in all time zones, to air special coverage from their respective news divisions: ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Noticias Univision, and Noticias Telemundo. As Fox did not have a network morning program, many Fox affiliates began airing local news telecasts with coverage from Fox News. ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC would air commercial-free, live news coverage until September 15. Some affiliates broke away from network news coverage at certain times to air their regularly-scheduled local newscasts. The three major networks brought in their main evening news anchors to lead coverage within the hour: Peter Jennings took over from GMA at 9:12 a.m., Tom Brokaw came in at 9:45 a.m. (though NBC's coverage continued under the purview of Today for several more hours), and Dan Rather went on-air at 10:00 a.m. just seconds after the first tower fell.
- The major television stations in New York City provided local coverage of the World Trade Center attacks, though they also had to deal with the additional hamstring of their transmission facilities atop the World Trade Center being destroyed, along with six station engineers at WTC being killed in the attacks; outside WCBS-TV and Univision flagship WXTV (which maintained backup Empire State Building facilities), the other major New York English commercial stations hastily made arrangements with other full-power and low-power stations in the market not based at the World Trade Center (including shifts of coverage to otherwise commercial-free public television stations) to continue broadcasting their coverage over-the-air (coverage over cable television was for the most part not affected due to direct fiber connections from stations to Time Warner Cable and Cablevision; the attacks pre-dated the addition of local channels to direct-broadcast satellite providers). WXTV relayed news in both Spanish and English to provide information to over-the-air viewers.
- One station in Washington, D.C. (CBS affiliate WUSA) broadcast local coverage of the attack on the Pentagon, to some criticism that the global scale of the story was too overwhelming for WUSA to cover as a strictly local news event and they should have deferred to CBS News instead.
- Smaller broadcast networks also altered their schedules. Most affiliates of The WB simulcast coverage transmitted at the network level from CNN. In general, the majority of UPN affiliates also aired CBS News's coverage of the events, though nine of the 10 UPN stations owned by Fox Television Stations which acquired from BHC Communications before the attacks, including KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, along with other UPN affiliates that did not air CBS News coverage, instead airing Fox News' coverage, with Secaucus, New Jersey-based WWOR-TV continuing New York-based local coverage; UPN resumed regular programming on September 13. Pax TV (later i: Independent Television, now Ion Television) aired coverage from NBC News, which had a close relationship with many of the network's affiliates at the time through news share agreements with local NBC affiliates. The All News Channel continued their usual "news wheel" format updated when needed, albeit with the full half-hour devoted to the attacks rather than its usual format. Most independent stations also suspended normal programming, but some independent stations continued to show their normal programming.
- CNN was the first cable network to break the news of the first attack at 8:49 a.m. EDT, followed by CNBC at 8:50, MSNBC at 8:52, and Fox News Channel at 8:54. The first of these, CNN, provided constant live coverage of 9/11's aftermath for almost three consecutive months. The network's overnight rebroadcasts were replaced with CNNI's coverage. The other major cable and satellite television networks in the United States reacted in four ways during the attacks:
- Some networks suspended their program lineup and simulcast the news coverage of their affiliated broadcast networks. Disney- owned networks ESPN, ESPN2 (both of which Disney owned a stake in) and SoapNet aired coverage from ABC News (ESPN itself debated not carrying an edition of SportsCenter that day, before deciding on a special edition dealing with how the sports world was affected). MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, and TNN aired coverage from CBS News (which were all owned by the original Viacom then; VH1 itself simulcast WCBS-TV's coverage at several times through the week). Turner Broadcasting System and AOL Time Warner-owned networks TBS, TNT, Shop at Home (owned by E. W. Scripps Company), Court TV, CNNfn, and CNNSI aired CNN coverage. News Corporation-owned channels FX, some regional Fox Sports Net channels, The Health Network, Speedvision, and Fox Family (which would be acquired by Disney after the attacks) aired Fox News' coverage. CNBC, periodically with its business-impact coverage, simulcast sister network MSNBC and NBC's coverages itself. C-SPAN and HSN, after initially suspending programming, simulcast coverage from the CBC's U.S. cable news channel Newsworld International (which itself simulcast CBC at several times throughout the week; HSN and NWI were then under the same ownership). Discovery Communications-owned TLC and BBC America aired coverage from BBC World News. Tribune Broadcasting's Superstation WGN simulcast coverage from their New York sister station WPIX. Also, some local cable news channels also simulcast coverage from all of the major national cable news networks (in the New York metropolitan area, NY1 and News 12 provided local coverage).
- Other networks stopped airing programs altogether, with a still card expressing sympathies being placed on screen; these included Food Network, HGTV, DIY, Lifetime, Oxygen, QVC, and Shop at Home (Food Network and Oxygen were then based in lower Manhattan, requiring them to halt all operations; Oxygen would redirect their satellite feed to NY1).
- Other channels continued their regular programming including Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, USA Network, TBN, A&E, The History Channel, Game Show Network, Sci Fi Channel, and Bravo. The Weather Channel also continued their regular programming, albeit with extra coverage of items of interest to their audience such as airport issues and ground travel delays due to the FAA's full-stop of all air operations. Children's cable networks, including PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Toon Disney, and Boomerang retained their usual programming schedules, with some episode removals due to violent or bomb-related imagery. Premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz and their associated networks also retained their usual schedules, though triggering films with extreme violence and disaster films were quickly substituted with lighter fare.
- After departing from CBS News's continuous coverage, MTV decided to program a limited continuous loop of music videos, with no new videos being introduced for weeks. The playlist included only light to mournful songs and videos, which included Destiny's Child's cover of "Emotion", "I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado, and U2's "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of".
- Several PBS member stations and networks, such as Wisconsin Public Television, decided to air PBS Kids programming, even in primetime, outside of The NewsHour and other regular public affairs programming to provide children with a safe harbor from continuous news coverage of the attacks. Other PBS member stations and some non-commercial independent stations continued showing normal programming, though with some extended coverage if they carried foreign newscasts. Two New York area non-commercial stations with transmitter facilities away from the World Trade Center broadcast coverage from WTC-based commercial stations to allow those news operations to continue to broadcast; WLIW (with their transmitter in Plainview, Long Island) simulcast coverage from WNBC, while the city-owned WNYE (transmitting then from the Empire State Building), New Jersey Network and Home Shopping station WHSE-TV simulcast coverage from WABC.
- In Canada, CBC Newsworld broke into regular programming at 8:52 AM EDT to carry the first report of the attacks. CBC, Citytv, Global, and CTV provided English-language coverage of the attacks and its aftermath, including Operation Yellow Ribbon, while Télévision de Radio-Canada provided French-language coverage of the attacks; the Canadian versions of Food Network and HGTV stopped airing programs altogether, as their American parent channels had also halted operations. In the United Kingdom, the BBC and ITV suspended their programming for in-depth coverage of the attacks but some programs continued to air including the premiere of The Blue Planet on BBC One. In Australia, the ABC, along with the Seven, Nine and Ten Networks carried live coverage from their American partner networks for several days after the attacks. Broadcasters in several countries throughout South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and also the rest of North America suspended regular programming to air coverage of the attacks. In Japan, television channels such as Nippon TV, Fuji TV, TV Asahi, NHK, TV Tokyo and TBS suspended coverage of the aftermath of the Myojo 56 building fire that had occurred ten days before the attacks.
- In Brazil, Rede Globo (biggest and most watched TV channel in the country) interrupted its normal programming to broadcast an special report at 9:54am local time. The journalist Carlos Nascimento informed that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center while the TV rebroadcast the feed from CNN. The special report ended at 9:56am, but was shortly restarted as the directors started to get new information. At 10:02, when the second plane hit the South Tower, Carlos said that the images were a replay of the (first) attack until informed that those were live pictures. Shortly after, Globo started to use a generic graphic package with the text "Terrorist Attacks in the USA" over CNN's live images. Around 11:05am, the station restarted to air its normal programming but at every commercial break its news division would take over for approximately 7 minutes. At 12:00pm, Globo broadcast an special edition of Jornal Hoje (national news program). Normally the program would air after local newscasts and an sports news show. When Jornal Hoje ended, Globo decided to restart for the second time its normal programming with occasional breaks for the news division to make updates about the situation. At 8:15pm, Jornal Nacional, Globo's primetime newscast, started an special edition. The program broke the record of most-watched newscast of the year. According to official numbers later released, for each 100 televisions being watched at the time, 74 were tuned into Jornal Nacional. The special edition had William Bonner (newscaster) and Fátima Bernardes as hosts and had the participation of correspondents in New York (live), Washington DC, London and Beirut. The correspondent Jorge Pontual was praised by critics after a memorable report right at the heart of the World Trade Center. In October 2002, that edition of the Jornal Nacional was nominated for the 30th International Emmy Awards.
- In Malaysia, television networks such as TV1, TV2 and TV3 continued their regular programming but the networks' news programs including news bulletins covering the twin towers World Trade Center attacks.
- In the Philippines, television networks such as ABS-CBN, GMA, IBC, RPN, ABC, NBN and Studio 23 continued their regular programming but the networks' news programs including hourly news bulletins covering the attacks.
Use of pictures
When asked for her thoughts on the attacks, First Lady Laura Bush stated that "we need to be very careful about our children". She warned parents not to let their children see the confronting images of destruction over and over, recommending that parents turn off the television and do something constructive, reassuring and calming with their kids.
Long-term television and radio transmitter damage
The transmitter facilities of WPIX, as well as six other New York City television stations and several radio stations, were destroyed as the WTC collapsed, and as mentioned above, six engineers for WABC, WCBS, WNBC, WNET and WPIX died while maintaining broadcasting operations despite the circumstances. WPIX's satellite feed froze midway into the live footage; the image remained on the screen for much of the day, broadcasting continent-wide, until WPIX was able to set up alternate transmission facilities; as mentioned above, Superstation WGN was used to provide a national outlet for the station's programming when transmission resumed. Eventually, adequate analog broadcast transmissions resumed several weeks later as the FCC allowed extraordinary license moves and construction permits to the Armstrong Tower along the New Jersey Palisades and the Empire State Building, returning the latter to being the main transmission site in the Tri-State area; the transmitter atop 4 Times Square (then the Condé Nast Building), originally planned as only an FM backup site before the attacks, soon became a primary transmitter for several FM and television stations. However, the advent of digital television, which used New York as one of its flagship test markets, suffered a large setback, and many stations would not build their new digital facilities until 2005 or 2006, and networks and stations across the country, in turn, had to push back many deadlines both locally and nationally regarding high definition on-air operations while New York's shuffle of transmission facilities took place.
In the United States, the start of the 2001–2002 television season was put on hold due to the extensive news coverage (several series, such as NBC's Crossing Jordan, were originally scheduled to debut on September 11), with mid-September premieres delayed until later in the month. Late-night talk shows such as The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman were also off the air; Letterman was already dark for the week for a pre-season vacation. Even after regular programming resumed, several talk shows remained off the air for several more days as writers and hosts determined how best to approach the sensitive situation. David Letterman was quoted on CNN as questioning whether he would even continue hosting his show. Ultimately, Letterman, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, and other talk show hosts based in New York and Los Angeles returned to the airwaves with emotional initial broadcasts, with Letterman punctuating his thoughts by asking his audience how the attacks "made any goddamn sense." This was the second of three instances where the start of the television season was delayed due to issues outside of the control of the major television networks; the other instances were the 1988–89 season (as a result of the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike) and the 2020–21 season (due to television production being halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic).
Several TV series, most notably The West Wing and Third Watch, produced special episodes addressing the attacks. Law & Order and its spinoff series all began their fall season premieres with a tribute to the victims. Shows such as the military based JAG and Third Watch (a series about New York City first responders) made major changes to their ongoing storylines to incorporate the event's aftermath.
On Politically Incorrect's September 17, 2001 show, Maher's guest Dinesh D'Souza disputed President Bush's label of the terrorists being "cowards", saying the terrorists were warriors. Maher agreed, and according to a transcript replied "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly". The show was cancelled the following June, which Maher and many others saw as a result of the controversy, although ABC denied that the controversy was a factor, and said the program was cancelled due to declining ratings. Maher said that the show struggled for advertisers in its final months.
Delayed or cancelled entertainment awards shows
- The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, scheduled for September 16, were delayed to October 7. However, the U.S. began to bomb Afghanistan on that day, and the Emmy Awards were again postponed. They finally aired on November 4, with a somewhat somber atmosphere after surviving rumors of cancellation. Due to the delay, the event was relocated from the originally scheduled Shrine Auditorium venue to the smaller Shubert Theatre. The 2006 drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip featured flashbacks to this time, where two of the characters on the show were fictionally nominated for awards at this event.
- The 2nd annual Latin Grammy Awards, scheduled for September 11, were never presented. The intended winners were instead quietly announced in a private press conference held on January 11, 2002. Some of the winners were acknowledged at the 44th Grammy Awards. Furthermore, the attacks influenced the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to hold the 2003 Grammy Awards ceremony in New York City as part of the "healing process".
The postponements and cancellations of various entertainment programs sparked rumors that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were postponing or even canceling the 74th Academy Awards ceremony. However, in a written statement released by president Frank Pierson, he denied any rumors that the attacks would affect the scheduling of the awards presentation saying that "the terrorists will have won" if they cancelled it. Nevertheless, the show went on as planned on March 24, 2002. The security was much tighter than in previous years, and the show had a more somber tone. According to New York Magazine, there were 26 references to the attacks during the telecast. On October 16, 2006, the awards event itself was designated a National Special Security Event by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Reflecting the significant and enduring impact of September 11th on popular culture, months and years after the attacks, events were still impacted, with the 2003 Grammy Awards being held at Madison Square Garden instead of Staples Center as planned. Blockbuster Entertainment terminated their awards ceremony permanently shortly after the second delay of the Emmys.
- On the TV series Friends, in episode 8x03 ("The One Where Rachel Tells..."), Chandler and Monica could not get on their flight for their honeymoon because Chandler joked about a bombing in the airport. After the attacks, the story was rewritten and re-shot. Additionally, as the show was set in New York, a screen reading "Dedicated to the People of New York City" was added to the end of episode 8x01 ("The One After 'I Do'"), which was the first episode of the series to be broadcast after the attacks and in several subsequent episodes, Joey and other members of the crew are seen wearing NYPD and FDNY apparel. On one occasion Joey is seen in a T-shirt that says "Captain Billy Burke," an NYC firefighter who lost his life in the attack.
- The first three seasons of the opening credits of The Sopranos featured a shot of the twin towers visible in Tony Soprano's rearview mirror. It was replaced with a generic shot beginning in the show's fourth season.
- New material was quickly added to Sesame Street following the attacks addressing issues raised. The first episode of the season involves a grease fire at Hooper's Store which traumatizes Elmo until he meets some real-life firefighters. Big Bird has to deal with his pen pal Gulliver, who does not believe birds should be friendly to other species.
- The syndicated version of the Chicago-set Married... with Children episode "Get Outta Dodge" featured a scene of two Arabs with a ticking bomb at the front door of Al Bundy's house offering to buy his infamous Dodge clunker car for $40 and asking for directions to the Sears Tower. The scene was cut from the syndicated re-airings of the episode after 9/11. The episode is intact on DVD releases.
- A shot of a plane exploding was included in the trailer for the pilot episode of 24 but not included in the actual episode, which aired in October 2001.
- The television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had their opening credits modified at the start of their third season on September 28 to remove an establishing shot of the World Trade Center.
- An episode of The Simpsons entitled "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson", which premiered roughly four years earlier and was partially set at the World Trade Center, was pulled from syndication by some carriers, though many are now showing it again. Some individual stations or networks removed the World Trade Center scenes via their own cuts, while 20th Television still releases the episode in full for syndication, including for cable syndication on FXX. An episode aired in December 2001, entitled "She of Little Faith", contained a subplot in which Homer and Bart accidentally destroy part of the local church with a model rocket. A scene from this subplot was removed, in which a man called Hassan Jay Salam was erroneously arrested for the incident, due to the rocket having the initials "HJS" ("Homer Jay Simpson") written on it. The scene can be viewed on the complete thirteenth season DVD boxset, released in 2010.
- An episode of Family Guy entitled "Road to Rhode Island" has a scene where Osama bin Laden distracts a security guard at the airport while the X-ray machine detects weapons. The scene was cut after 9/11 and also cut on the Family Guy: Volume 1 DVD, though the episode is intact on the Family Guy: The Freakin' Sweet Collection DVD. The episode "A Fish out of Water" was set to air on September 12, 2001. Due to the attacks, the episode was delayed and it was scheduled to air on September 19, 2001. The towers of the World Trade Center were digitally removed on the musical number "You've Got a Lot to See" from "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows".
- An episode of SpongeBob SquarePants entitled "Just One Bite", when originally aired on October 5, featured a scene in which Squidward Tentacles tries to get to the Patty Vault but it was guarded by a bucket of gas and a match eventually burns him. The footage was removed after broadcast, though it remains distributed internally among the fanbase. The episode would later re-air in 2002 with an alternate scene with Squidward at the Krusty Krab door as the camera goes all the way to the "Patty Vault" in the back of the Krusty Krab. Initially, explanations for the removal were thought to be either to respect the victims of September 11, 2001, which occurred less than a month before the episode aired, or to prevent children from attempting to use and/or ignite gas. Vincent Waller has confirmed in a statement on Twitter that the removal of the scene was ultimately due to Nickelodeon being against the idea of a gag involving a match and gasoline.
- KCPT in Kansas City skipped an airing of an episode of the children's show Jay Jay the Jet Plane depicting the after-effects of a plane crash.
- Two episodes of Pokémon were temporarily taken off the air:
- The episode "Tentacool and Tentacruel", due to scenes where a giant Tentacruel destroys a town called Porta Vista. A scene of the giant Tentacruel smashing a skyscraper was never removed from the opening credits of the first season, though it seems likely it was because that the season had already ended and the anime had already advanced by more than three seasons.
- The other is "The Tower of Terror", an episode where Ash, Misty, and Brock are in Lavender Town to catch a Ghost-type Pokémon so that Ash would have an advantage over Saffron City's Gym Leader, Sabrina, who uses Psychic-type Pokémon. While no explanation has been given, it most likely had something to do with the name.
- For similar reasons, an episode titled "A Scare in the Air", while not banned, was temporarily renamed "Spirits in the Sky".
- An episode of Mobile Suit Gundam was skipped on September 11 but aired as scheduled the next day, though shortly after, Cartoon Network and other networks began to edit and remove episodes for war-related content, including Mobile Suit Gundam. However, the final episode aired on New Year's Eve that same year and the rest of the series aired in reruns in 2002. Cartoon Network took an episode of Cowboy Bebop that dealt with terrorist bombings ("Cowboy Funk") out of the Adult Swim lineup for nearly a year afterwards.
- George Carlin's 2001 HBO comedy special, Complaints and Grievances, had a working title of I Kinda Like It When A Lot Of People Die, which was changed shortly after the attacks.
- The airing of the third season of Survivor was delayed and the planned location of the fourth season was changed.
- The "Door To Door" episode of Invader Zim was delayed from airing in the United States and edited to remove some scenes of a burning city post Irken invasion. The unedited version of the episode was aired in Australia, while only the edited version has been released on DVD. There were various other edits and changes made to the series after 9/11, like changing the colors of explosions.
- Jeopardy!'s episodes that were intended to air from September 11th to the 14th were not seen nationally outside of a few select markets where stations were either independent, had no news department, and/or were carried in overnight periods, until GSN aired them in 2005. Additionally, Jeopardy!'s sister show, Wheel of Fortune's episodes from the same time frame were also not shown outside the same exceptions, and have never aired on GSN (Washington D.C.'s WJLA-TV is known to have aired the preempted shows in the late-night hours of September 16). Neither series had those episodes cycled into summer or weekend rerun cycles the next season. Even if their shows didn't air in a contestant's local market, however, due to standards and practices, all participating contestants still received their winnings despite the episodes not airing.
- The Action League Now! short "I Just Don't Get It" (and by default, the episode of Kablam! which contained it) was removed from circulation by Nickelodeon for any airing in the future, as it involved the series' villainous mayor wanting to destroy the United States Capitol.
- Episode 2 of the first season of The Amazing Race was not aired on the evening of September 12 as scheduled. The rest of the season after the first episode the week before was delayed one week.
- During the second season of Big Brother, the show's schedule was delayed for a week for priority of news coverage of the events, marking the first time that outside news has been given to the Houseguests, due to one of the contestants, Monica Bailey having a cousin, Tamitha Freeman, who was in one of the World Trade Centers at the time and died in the attacks. The host, Julie Chen, gave her condolences on the episode that aired days after the attacks had happened.
- The NBC reality series Lost (wholly unrelated to the more well-known 2004 ABC drama of the same name) ended up with a truncated run as the second episode of the show was to air on the night of the 11th and subsequently edited down from six to five episodes airing in December 2001, with copious editing done due to the show's finish line being shot at the Statue of Liberty before the attacks. The program subsequently was cancelled.
- Two new syndicated series, Power of Attorney and the 2001 version of Card Sharks were heavily affected by pre-emptions on their premiere weeks and never had any momentum to build ratings, being quietly cancelled at the start of 2002.
- The first airing of Full Metal Panic! was delayed because the first episode involved a terrorist hijacking a plane.
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise was heavily affected by the attacks, and many of its episodes were held back, re-edited, removed from re-run schedules, aired late or didn't air at all in the United States and Canada. The entire run of episodes was aired on Fox Kids in the UK. These episodes are:
- "Battle Protocol" was never re-aired in the U.S. after its premiere due to a scene of Megatron smashing through a skyscraper in claw mode.
- The opening scene of "Secret of the Ruins" featured buildings being destroyed and a reference to terrorism, and the episode was held back to be redubbed. The scene in question was recreated using footage from "Battle Protocol!". Eventually, the episode aired between "Ultra Magnus" and "Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion". It is the episode in which Doctor Onishi's microchip is introduced, so its removal left something of a hole in the series. The original version of the episode has never been broadcast, and for international syndication, only the altered redubbed version was used.
- "Attack From Outer Space", "Landfill" and "Sky-Byte Saves the Day" did not air in the US. "Attack" would go on to air in Canada, and all three would subsequently air in the UK. All three episodes featured buildings being destroyed, and the plot of "Sky-Byte Rampage" revolved around stopping a tower from falling over. However, this is the first episode to put focus on the O-Parts, and its removal from the lineup disrupted the continuity of the show.
- "Spy Changers To The Rescue": There were two versions of this episode aired before and after 9/11. The pre-9/11 episode contained references to the generator possibly exploding and a scene with Prowl's jet-claw. The post 9/11 episode had the jet-claw edited out and the possibilities of "explosions" were changed to possibilities of "circuit corrosion" along with other minor dialogue changes.
- Repeated airings of the Only Fools and Horses episode "The Sky's the Limit" were cancelled, and the episode was not broadcast again until several years later. This was due to the final scene of the episode, where it is revealed that the satellite dish Del acquired had been stolen from Gatwick Airport's runway, prompting international chaos. The episode ends with the satellite dish diverting a commercial airline towards their apartment block, as the Trotter brothers yell "switch it off!"
- A General Hospital plotline involving a bioterrorism plan hatched by Helena and Stavros Cassadine, which included a bombing of Port Charles General Hospital, was hastily abandoned after the attacks.
- Not all TV productions were able to adjust to the events of 9/11. Emeril Lagasse's eponymous sitcom Emeril debuted on September 25, 2001 (a week later than scheduled), and was cancelled seven episodes later that November; its title screen continued to show the World Trade Center.
Music and radio
- Like television, almost all radio stations across the United States put a halt on all programs and commercials to simulcast affiliated news coverage of the attacks from ABC News Radio and CBS Radio News, or taking an audio simulcast of a television news operation, be it local or national, while national morning shows hosted by personalities such as Rick Dees or Howard Stern focused on providing both information about the attacks and call-in forums for listeners to express sympathies. Local New York all-news radio operations WINS and WCBS, along with Washington's WTOP carried locally based coverage that was simulcast on those sister FM stations without operations destroyed at the World Trade Center as AM operations with transmitters on the outskirts of metropolitan areas were unaffected outside of security concerns for studio and transmitter facilities.
- XM Satellite Radio was scheduled to launch on September 12, 2001. As a direct result of the attacks, the launch was delayed until September 25 when the service debuted on a limited basis in San Diego and Dallas.
- Program directors from many radio stations throughout the US retooled their playlists in response to the attacks. Common changes included the heavy rotation of songs such as "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood and Whitney Houston's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" from Super Bowl XXV. Meanwhile, songs such as U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and Dave Matthews Band's "Crash Into Me" were excluded from playlists. Additionally, Clear Channel (now known as iHeartMedia) came under scrutiny for distributing a list of 150 potentially sensitive songs that were not recommended for broadcast immediately after the attacks.
- NPR's weekly comedic news quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! would not record or broadcast a show for the weekend of September 15–16.
- German heavy metal band Rammstein was to debut their video for the song "Ich Will" which depicted scenes of one band member dressed as a suicide bomber. The video was immediately recalled before the premiere.
- The Christian rap metal band P.O.D. released their album Satellite that day, spurring success for the album and its lead single "Alive" as having a positive message in the aftermath. Other bands associated with aggressive heavy rock genres such as nu metal and rap metal experienced a downturn in sales due to the attacks. These genres continued to decline in popularity during the following years.
- New Zealand rock band Shihad changed their name to Pacifier in response to American audiences comparing "Shihad" with "Jihad." They have since resumed using their original name.
- According to Arrogant Worms band member Trevor Strong, the song "Worst Seat on the Plane" was never performed live due to Idiot Road, the album it was featured on, being released on September 18, 2001, one week after the terrorist attacks.
- American alternative rock band Jimmy Eat World voluntarily changed the name of their now platinum certified fourth studio release Bleed American, which was released on July 18, 2001, out of concern that the title may be misinterpreted. The album was re-released as the eponymous Jimmy Eat World. Also, the title track was renamed "Salt Sweat Sugar." In 2008, a deluxe version of the album was released, reverting both the album and song to their original Bleed American title.
- American pop-punk band Blink 182 re-filmed the video for their song "Stay Together for the Kids." The original video was filmed on September 10–11 and depicted the band playing in an abandoned house which, during the video, was struck repeatedly by a wrecking ball and eventually destroyed. The attacks occurred following the wrapping of filming. Both the band and director Samuel Bayer felt that the images portrayed in the video were too similar to the attacks on the World Trade Center and opted to re-shoot the video. The original video for the song is available on some of the band's DVD releases as well as on YouTube.
- American rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars reshot the cover art for their self-titled debut album that originally featured a fighter pilot ejecting from an exploding plane. The band explained that they never saw it as a violent image, but felt that it was inappropriate in the wake of the events.
- American thrash metal band Slayer inadvertently caused controversy when their album God Hates Us All was released that same day. The album's original release was July 10 (two months before the attacks), but was delayed due to issues regarding audio mixing, distribution and - especially - the explicit original artwork depicting a desecrated Bible.
- Michael Jackson, along with other musicians, performed the songs "What More Can I Give" and "Man in the Mirror" at the United We Stand benefit concert held at the RFK Memorial Stadium on October 21, 2001, as a tribute to the victims of the attacks.
- The Hungarian composer Robert Gulya, who was living in the US from 2000 to 2002, started to work on a guitar concerto in autumn 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks. Gulya chose a theme for the concerto's first movement, which reminds of the terror attacks. The world premiere of this concerto was filmed and released on the DVD Live in Budapest by the Austria guitarist Johanna Beisteiner.
- Ben Folds was giving an interview about his album "Rockin' the Suburbs" (released on September 11) but was cut short, due to the plane crashes.
- The song "New York City Cops" was replaced with "When it Started" on the U.S. version of The Strokes' debut album Is This It.
- Hip hop band The Coup were originally set to release their album Party Music early in the month. The original cover art depicted band members Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress blowing up the World Trade Center with a mocked-up electronic tuner "detonator" and crossed drumsticks. Despite Riley's protests to keep the original album art, releasing label 75 Ark changed the art to a more generic image of a held martini glass filled with burning gasoline (a gasoline can is seen in the background), and released it on November 6.
- Dream Theater's Live Album Live Scenes from New York, released on September 11, 2001, had an album cover that depicted the skyline of New York City in flames. The album was recalled and later re-released, with a different cover. The band later did "Sacrificed Sons" on Octavarium as a tribute to those who died in 9/11. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess even did the album 4NYC as a charity album for the tragedy. The band changed the name of one of the songs from their 2002 album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: "The Great Debate", which discusses stem-cell research controversies, was originally titled "Conflict at Ground Zero" based on the lyrics in the chorus, but it was renamed as news reports started to refer to the site of the attacks as "Ground Zero". The band was actually in a Manhattan studio conducting final mixes of the album on the day in question.
- English rock band Bush changed the name of the lead single off their 2001 album Golden State from "Speed Kills" to "The People That We Love". Also changed was the original cover art for the album, which featured a commercial airplane.
- The tribute concert Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music, a fundraiser for the Robin Hood Foundation dedicated to the music of John Lennon, took place in early October 2001 in New York. Due to its timing, much of the concert also became a tribute to the city of New York and particularly its emergency services.
- Singer Madonna postponed a concert performance in Los Angeles, California.
- Rock band Fabulous Disaster cancelled two shows originally scheduled for September 11th and 12th, as booked by Cause Result Entertainment.
- Rock band Aerosmith cancelled three shows originally scheduled for September 11th, 13th, and 15th, all on the Eastern Seaboard, during their Just Push Play Tour. They resumed their tour on September 17 in Atlanta.
- The San Francisco Symphony continued with a previously planned program of Mahler's 6th Symphony, the "Tragic," on September 12–15. The subsequent recording was highly acclaimed and garnered the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.
- Janet Jackson postponed a concert in Tampa, Florida, scheduled for the day. She also cancelled the entire European leg of her All for You Tour due to travel concerns after the attacks.
- Sting's next project after Brand New Day (1999) was to be On Such a Night, a live CD and DVD album recorded at his Italian villa and simulcast on the Internet. The concert was scheduled for September 11th and was altered due to the terrorist attacks in America that day. The webcast was shut down after one song (a reworked version of "Fragile"), after which Sting let the audience decide whether to continue the show; the audience voted "yes". The subsequent album and DVD were released as ...All This Time (November 2001) and was dedicated "to all those who lost their lives on that day".
- Digital cable channel MTVX, which showed mainly hard rock and heavy metal music videos, was replaced on May 1, 2002, with the hip hop-based MTV Jams, due to not only hip hop's growing mainstream presence, but the editing of rock radio station playlists or complete change in format post-9/11 to remove aggressive and violent songs that were inappropriate for play, along with a plunge in viewer requests for the network. A good number of radio stations switched to more neutral classic rock or adult album alternative formats in the aftermath. The channel became BET Jams in 2015.
- Stations began to start all-Christmas music formats and playlists through Christmas Day earlier (usually between Halloween and Thanksgiving) to provide a respite to listeners who looked for more calming dial choices, a trend that continues to the present day.
- Before the 9/11 attacks, the American DJ and media personality Khaled Mohamed Khaled went by the name "Arab Attack", before changing his moniker to DJ Khaled following the attacks due to his concern about offending victims.
- The Walt Disney World attraction The Timekeeper, a 360-degree film presentation that features a panoramic view of New York City, including the Twin Towers, closed on September 11, 2001, and updated the scene of New York City so that the titular character was sent to 2000, a year before the attacks. The attraction closed five years later.
- Movie World on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, immediately after the attack (late evening in Australia), received word from the CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures, the company that owned the park, that he wanted all attractions and video games that were "gun based" shut down or removed before they opened the park the following morning. Several coin-operated shooting games such as Point Blank were removed from the video game section, and the "old-timey" shooting gallery from the Western area was also removed. Gun based video games made a reappearance in the park several years later; however, the Western shooting gallery was never re-opened.
Many major sporting events in North America were cancelled. These included:
- Major League Baseball (MLB): Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig called off games for one day, extended cancellations for three days, then postponed all games through September 16. The New York Mets' home series against the Pirates from September 17–19 was moved to Pittsburgh due to security concerns, with the Mets functioning as the designated home team for that series. The games were tacked onto the end of the regular season, delaying the postseason until October 4. As a result, the 2001 World Series became the first to ever extend into November. This was the third time in MLB history that games were cancelled due to war or national security reasons. Games were cancelled on D-Day, and the 1918 season was shortened due to World War I.
- Minor League Baseball (MiLB): All championship series were cancelled. Teams that had led their respective series were awarded league championships, or teams which were scheduled to play in such series (such as the Midwest League, which utilizes half-season championships to position the championship series) were awarded co-championships.
- The National Football League (NFL) postponed its weekly schedule of football games on September 16 and the Monday night game the following night. Those games and the playoffs were pushed back at the end of the regular season. Super Bowl XXXVI was then moved to February 3, the first time the game had been played in that month. The following year, Super Bowl XXXVII was held at the end of January, but the Super Bowl was moved back to February (to place it within that month's sweeps period for television's Nielsen ratings system) the following year and has been held in that month ever since. Also, the logo for Super Bowl XXXVI was changed from one reflecting its host city, New Orleans, to a patriotic design.
- Major League Soccer (MLS): The final two weeks of the 2001 season were cancelled, with some teams only playing 26 or 27 matches instead of the planned 28. The playoffs, whose spots were already clinched, were played as scheduled beginning on September 20 and ending with the MLS Cup on October 21.
- The remaining 3 matches of the 2001 Women's U.S. Cup, featuring the United States women's national soccer team were cancelled.
- NASCAR postponed the September 16 New Hampshire 300 race in the Winston Cup Series at New Hampshire International Speedway until November 23. Qualifying for the race was cancelled outright, and the starting grid was based on owner points as of September 10. The Silverado 350 race in the Craftsman Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway was postponed from September 15 to October 5.
- The Chevy 500 in the Indy Racing League at Texas Motor Speedway was moved from September 16 to October 6.
- NCAA Division I college football games originally scheduled to be played on September 13 and 15 were called off. This was not an insignificant decision; in 1988, Syracuse University was severely criticized for allowing a basketball game be played hours after 35 of its students were killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Some games were played in early December; others were cancelled outright; other games were added as a result of teams being unable to find makeup dates.
- The PGA golf tour cancelled the World Golf Championships at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. This was the first time in five years the PGA cancelled a tournament. In 1996, the PGA Tour cancelled the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am because of weather conditions and subsequently added a new rule that a tournament would not be official unless 54 holes were played. This event was not made up and purse monies were donated to charities.
- USA Cycling cancelled the BMC Software Tour of Houston scheduled for September 16, which was a key event in that year's Pro Cycling Tour, involving elite domestic and international cyclists. The decision was made despite the fact that athletes, staff, and equipment were actively en route to Houston from the inaugural San Francisco Grand Prix, which had been held on September 9, 2001.
- The Army Ten-Miler road race at The Pentagon scheduled for early October was cancelled, though the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of the same month went on as scheduled, dedicated those who lost their lives in the attacks.
- The Canadian Football League (CFL) scrapped all games for the ensuing week, which were rescheduled for the final week of the season. This did not affect the 89th Grey Cup, which was scheduled for November 25.
- WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation, cancelled the taping of its wrestling program SmackDown as it was originally supposed to be taped on the day of the attacks. Two days later on September 13, a special tribute show was held in Houston, Texas at the Compaq Center and was broadcast live on UPN as the first major entertainment or sporting event to be held after the attacks; this made UPN the first major commercial network to resume normal programming following the attacks. The special contained wrestling matches, interviews with wrestlers discussing the attacks, and a performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by ring announcer Lilian Garcia. On October 1, 2001, the former title for its Monday evening program, Raw is War, was renamed back to simply Raw, due to both sensitivity, and the fact that the Monday Night Wars with World Championship Wrestling (which the altered title had referred to) had ended with the WWF's acquisition of that promotion. The December pay-per-view Armageddon was also replaced with Vengeance, with the Armageddon name returning for December the following year (consequently, Vengeance was moved to July for 2002 onwards).
The following overseas sports events were delayed:
- UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup matches which were scheduled for September 12 and 13 were postponed, by almost a month to October 10 for the Champions League and a week to 20 September for the UEFA Cup. Matches scheduled on the 11th went ahead for logistical reasons, with a minute's silence observed and black armbands worn at the matches.
- The 2001 Ryder Cup of golf, held at The Belfry in England, was postponed a year. Subsequent Ryder Cup tournaments were moved from odd-numbered to even-numbered years to retain the two-year gap between stagings. The Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup, staged in off-years of the Ryder Cup, were moved from even-numbered to odd-numbered years beginning in 2003.
Sporting events that were not delayed despite the attacks include:
- The 2001 American Memorial was a Championship Auto Racing Teams motor race held 4 days after the attacks at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. It was not delayed, but it was renamed from "German 500" by CART following the aftermath of the attacks.
- While the attacks took place during the NHL and the NBA off-seasons, there were tributes to the attacks at the start of every game during the beginning of the 2001–02 season.
- 2001 Italian Grand Prix, Formula One's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) announced that the Italian Grand Prix would go ahead as scheduled. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said that his team would approach the race as a normal racing event instead of a traditional Ferrari festival. Furthermore, di Montezemolo stated Formula One should continue its normal schedule and not cancel races. Additionally, the Automobile Club d'Italia urged fans and spectators to behave "in keeping with the gravity of the situation and in collective participation in the pain of American citizens." Podium celebrations were also cancelled and all pre-race ceremonies including a flypast by the Italian Tricolour Arrows display team were called off. Three teams altered their car's liveries as a mark of respect. Ferrari stripped their cars of all advertising and painted their nose cones black. Jaguar fitted black engine covers to their R2 cars on Saturday morning, and Jordan sponsor Deutsche Post replaced its branding with the flag of the United States on the Jordan cars engine cover on Sunday morning. Michael Schumacher was reluctant to take part in the race and said in 2002 that he felt it was a "bad sign" to be driving after the September 11 attacks.
- Grand Theft Auto III, released in October 2001, was delayed almost a month to make last-minute changes since the game was set in a city loosely based on New York City. Development was also delayed due to Rockstar's offices being based near Ground Zero. The paint scheme of the city's police cars was changed from a blue-and-white NYPD design to a black-and-white LAPD design during game development. Other relatively minor changes included altering the flight path of an AI plane that went near skyscrapers, and removing a few lines of pedestrian dialogue and talk radio.
- The 2001 video game Max Payne, the World Trade Center towers were removed from the release ports versions for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in December 2001, including the graphic novels, cutscenes and Billboard. Though the PC version still has the towers from the release in July 2001, while the port versions of Game Boy Advance (released in 2003), iOS and Android added the WTC towers when it was released in 2012.
- The PlayStation 2 game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released as scheduled in November 2001 despite the plot centering on terrorists in New York City and a scene in which a giant battleship crashes into Federal Hall National Memorial; however, a scene in which Arsenal Gear, a futuristic mobile fortress, destroys the Statue of Liberty and much of Manhattan's Financial District was removed, as was live-action footage of the Twin Towers originally slated to be used in the ending.
- Microsoft removed the World Trade Center from Microsoft Flight Simulator beginning with the 2002 edition, along with removing crash damage from future editions of the game, where a plane collision would not show the aircraft crumpling and catching fire (none of the games have ever shown building damage due to graphical limitations). Third-party mods have existed to return the crash damage feature unofficially.
- The 2000 computer game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, depicting an alternate history where the Soviet Union launches an invasion of the United States, changed its box art after the attacks. The original art was a fold-out cover with the inside depicting the New York skyline on fire, including ruined Twin Towers with flames and smoke pouring out. The cover depicted a Soviet soldier who was wearing an eyepiece with crosshairs on the American flag. The altered cover depicted the Soviet soldier wearing the eyepiece with crosshairs on a nuclear bomb explosion. The release of its 2001 expansion pack, Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge, was postponed because of this change. Controversial in-game levels, including ones where players had to destroy the Pentagon and attack the World Trade Center area, were not changed, however, the landmarks and level names like "Operation: Big Apple" were no longer mentioned in walkthroughs on the game's website.
- The Dreamcast game Propeller Arena was cancelled. It was an air combat game which featured modern-day dog fighting with planes in cities that had skyscraper buildings. A leaked and completed version has since made it to the Internet.
- The PlayStation 2 game Twisted Metal Black had its European release's first level altered—initially, it gave the player the ability to shoot down a circling Boeing 747 which would crash into a building revealing a secret area. Instead, the level starts with the plane already crashed. Various other elements of the game were also censored for being considered too graphic, including all of the game's cutscenes.
- The PlayStation 2 game Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo's release date in the United States was delayed due to the opening scene where a space colony was dropped on a city that resembles New York.
- The PlayStation 2 game Shinobi originally had a scene in which the main character jumps out of a helicopter and sticks his sword into the side of a skyscraper to slow his fall. When this character hit the ground, the building was supposed to shatter. The scene was removed.
- The PlayStation game Syphon Filter 3's cover art was changed before release. It originally had Gabe Logan, viewed from an angle, pointing a gun at the camera with a look of anger while Lian swung into frame, guns a-blazing. The American flag was prominently displayed as well. It was changed to a generic head-view of Gabe and Lian looking serious. A level in the game that takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan (albeit in the 1980s when it was under Soviet occupation) remained.
- Activision halted production of the PlayStation game Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro in order to remove references to buildings resembling the Twin Towers, change the final battle stages, re-edit the cut scenes, and add a large bridge to the model of the World Trade Center. Originally, the final level took place atop the Twin Towers, but, following the attacks, the game was released with a different ending and epilogue. Several levels were renamed and other minor changes were made to levels and cut scenes to avoid any reference to the World Trade Center and the 9/11 attacks. However, there are reports that the game originally was released on August 26th, 2001 with The World Trade Center intact and nothing changed. The Pre-9/11 version's ISO file can be found online, although a physical copy of this version is hard to find as there is no difference in the Case, Disc and Manual art between the two versions.
- A re-release port of the 1995 Sega rail shooter Gunblade NY: Special Assault Air Force on the Wii in 2010 as part of the SEGA Arcade Hits Pack: Gunblade NY and L.A. Machineguns compilation saw the Twin Towers removed from the game's background, despite being released six years before the attacks (though the game's timeline took place in 2005, meaning it could be accidentally construed as anachronistic to a newer audience).
- The "Plane Crash" disaster from the SimCity series of computer games was removed from future titles in the series following its appearances in SimCity and SimCity 2000.
- The online collectible card game Chron X removed a card named "Crash & Burn" which depicted an airplane crashing into a building.
- An art designer for the PlayStation 2 game Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies realized an image that was about to release on the game's promotional website—depicting a battleship sinking near a populated cityscape—looked similar to the smoke plume from the Twin Towers' collapse. The designer discussed this with the staffer in charge of the website and they erased the city buildings from the image. Namco also suspended its broadcast of a Japanese TV spot for the game.
- The GameCube game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was delayed as Joseph De Molay, a Templar Knight during the crusades, was removed from the game. The game has 12 playable characters and Joseph was one of three playable characters in the 2001 E3 demo. Textures that had Arabic writing were also removed.
- The Xbox game Metal Wolf Chaos was not localized into other languages and not released outside of Japan due to the political climate that followed the attacks. However, a remastered version of the game did get a worldwide release in 2019.
- Mad Magazine's issue #411 was already at the printer with a gag front cover depicting the mascot Alfred E. Neuman having taken a wrong turn away from the New York Marathon route (an event occurring in October, the issue's release month) and jogging into a murder scene, where he cluelessly broke through yellow crime scene tape in triumph. The joke depicted downtown Manhattan and a dead body, and was no longer appropriate in light of the real world events. But the magazine had just one deadline day in which to produce a replacement cover. This was accomplished with a closely cropped head shot of Neuman, his trademark tooth gap filled in by a small American flag.
- In comics, The Adventures of Superman issue #596, released around the time of the attacks, was recalled due to its depiction of damaged twin towers.
- The 2001 Boshears Skyfest was cancelled due to closed airspace following the attacks.
- Broadway theater went dark until September 13, 2001, when shows resumed with dimmed marquees.
- List of cultural references to the September 11 attacks
- Cultural influence of the September 11 attacks
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