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Distanced From Current Events / September 11th

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The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 changed everything on a domestic and international scale. Sadly, this also applies to what we watch, play, listen to, and read for entertainment.

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  • Ford recalled the 2002 U.S.-market showroom brochure for the Focus just as the model year was getting underway, because the towers were reflected in one of the cover car's windows. A second edition was released, identical except that the towers were photoshopped out.
  • Starbucks recalled a promotional poster for their Tazo Citrus drink in 2002 because it portrayed a dragonfly flying (or divebombing) two of the drinks set side by side, in an eerie parallel to September 11th's events. Making matters worse, it has the word "collapse" in the caption and the blades of grass, meant to resemble Starbucks straws, vaguely resemble tall buildings.
  • A teaser poster release for the 2002 Spider-Man film (much like the trailer example below) was recalled a few days after its initial pressing due to the image showing the reflection of the Twin Towers in Spidey's eyes. The remaining posters that weren't scooped up have since become very valuable collector's items.
  • In the UK, a television advert was released for the Renault Scenic featuring cover versions of songs popular at that time. This version of the advert includes a section where air crew cover the song "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus. Versions of the advert airing after 9/11 had the air crew edited out.
  • Budweiser's "Real American Heroes" radio ads for Bud Light, begun in 1998, were pulled in 2001, as the title was considered insensitive.note  They returned a few months later as "Real Men of Genius".
  • Microsoft's ad campaign for Windows XP was originally going to feature the tagline "Prepare to Fly", but this was changed to "Yes You Can" after the attacks.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop:
    • In the United States, it had delayed reruns of episodes featuring a building bomber because of 9/11, and an episode featuring the space shuttle Columbia after the real one was destroyed in an accident in 2003.
    • A year after 9/11, "Cowboy Funk" (the episode featuring a terrorist who plants teddy bear bombs on tall buildings) returned to Adult Swim rotation. "Wild Horses" (featuring a doomed space shuttle) returned to rotation even faster.
    • "Waltz for Venus" was similarly cut from the original run on Adult Swim because it depicted a plane hijacking in the first few minutes. "Sympathy for the Devil" was removed from the line up as well primarily because of violence against a child antagonist (who is actually older than he looks and sounds), which has nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks but would understandably freak vulnerable audience members out all the same, since this was the early days of Adult Swim and the censors didn't want to push the envelope at that time. However, "Sympathy for the Devil" has two scenes that could be construed as evocative of the 9/11 attacks: a man falling out the window of a skyscraper and the child antagonist rising from a burning pile of rubble.
  • The first anime adaptation of the Full Metal Panic! light novel was scheduled to premiere in 2001, but was delayed due to its too soon themes (the first major arc even kicks off with the hijacking of a commercial airliner). When it was released, Sousuke's homeland was bowdlerised from Afghanistan to a semi-pronounceable Qurac. This was carried over into the English translation of the light novels.
  • This is also believed to be why the Gundam: The Origin manga shifts the events of the North America arc south, which had the interesting side-effect of changing Amuro's ethnicity from half-Canadian to half-Mexican.
  • Similarly, the North American airings of Mobile Suit Gundam on Toonami was brought to a grinding halt four episodes from the end by 9/11. At least, this was Cartoon Network's "official" reason — considering all the actual destruction of cityscapes in the series that could have upset post-9/11 viewers had already aired at that point, and that they had no problem airing the final episode of the series for a New Year's event on Toonami only three months later, it's far more likely they simply used 9/11 as an excuse to pull the series due to its lower than expected ratingsnote .
  • This was the reason that Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn significantly toned down the Islamic extremist views of Loni Garvey and her family from the original novel, since it was to air close to the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
  • An episode of Pokémon: The Series was pulled from rotation after 9/11 because a giant Tentacruel destroyed a large building that didn't even remotely resemble one of the Twin Towers (it was longer than it was tall). Particularly bizarre because the scene it was banned for was, and continued to be, part of the opening montage of every Kanto episode. Another episode, Tower Of Terror, was pulled simply because of its name (the eponymous tower is a haunted tower that's an important location in the games), creating a plot hole due to being the episode where Ash caught a Haunter, who would figure into his gym battle with Sabrina. These bans lasted until the show Channel Hopped to Cartoon Network many years later, though in the case of "Tower of Terror" the ban was still in place until more than a year after the hop for some reason.
  • Digimon Adventure:
    • The third arc is about the Digidestined trying to find their eighth member before Vamdemon/Myotismon does. They follow him to what just-so-happens to be the district where they all used to live, and start wondering why all of their families moved away. In the first runs of the dub, Joe, the oldest in the group, tells everyone that a terrorist bombing happened around that time and that nobody knew who was behind it, so their families probably all moved away out of fear. Later in the episode, the kids discover they've repressed their memories of the night of the bombing, and that it was really a battle between two huge Digimon. They conclude that witnessing this battle was probably the common factor that led to them being chosen and that the Eighth Child saw it, too — obviously, this is very plot-relevant, so the episode couldn't just be cut. When the episode re-aired on Jetix in America, they just cut every bit of dialogue relating to "terrorists" or "bombs."
    • The episode where the Fuji TV building is destroyed and the episode where Machinedramon destroys his own city were pulled on Disney's watch, and the accompanying Previously on… segments were edited to be less graphic. Nickelodeon allowed it all to air wholesale, and the video releases are intact.
  • Digimon Tamers also had minor edits in several episodes. Images of exploding buildings were cut, due to being aired very soon after 9/11.
  • Digimon Adventure 02 suffered arguably more - there was an entire arc devoted to see the children taking down the Control Spires ("Dark Towers" in the original). Therefore, some very inconsistent censoring of those ones took place, with the most common method being cutting out the scenes completely (in some of those cases, the scenes were rendered utterly nonsensical as characters were celebrating... seeing their Digimon using their attacks, apparently).
  • Dragon Ball Z's American airing had the misfortune of reaching an episode about Gohan and Videl saving people trapped in a burning skyscraper just a few weeks after 9/11. The episode was skipped over during its first run, although subsequent rotations on Cartoon Network have restored it.
  • The law of "Too Soon" pretty much devastated Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
    • Only three episodes into its American broadcast run when 9/11 occurred, multiple episodes of the series had to be held back so their dub scripts could be reworked, three episodes didn't air in the United States at all, and one for which the dubbing had already been completed had to be held back for weeks until its entire opening sequence could be disassembled and rebuilt using footage from another episode. In every single case, it was because some buildings were destroyed during the course of the action, and it resulted in a series that was aired thoroughly out of order up until the very end of its run.
    • The first episode "Battle Protocol" never re-aired in the U.S. due to a scene of Megatron emerging from a skyscraper in claw mode. Also "Spychangers to the Rescue" ended up having two different versions-one that aired before 9/11 and the other that aired afterwards, the former contained references to the generator possibly exploding and a scene with Prowl's jet-claw. The post 9/11 version had the jet-claw edited out and the possibilities of "explosions" were changed to possibilities of "circuit corrosion" along with other minor dialogue changes.
  • The original Japanese version of Future Diary contained a building called the Twin Towers, which was assaulted by several characters, including Yukiteru Amano, the series' protagonist, and Minene Uryuu, an established terrorist bomber. In the English translation, the building was named "The Double Tower Building." It's also worth noting that, in a series where characters are assigned numbers to their names, the aforementioned Minene was 9th and her enemy, the mayor of the city, was 11th. The anime adaptation goes even further to avoid any reference to 9/11 by adding two more skyscrappers, thus changing the name of the building into "The Quad Towers".

    Comic Books 
  • A panel of Adventures of Superman #596 depicting the aftermath of the events of Our Worlds at War on Metropolis, including a partially-collapsed LexCorp towers (the Superman analogue to the WTC). Its cover is a typical chest-barring shot of the S-shield with an atypical black background (Supes in mourning for said alien attack) and the line "This is NOT a job for Superman" on it. The issue was due to hit newsstands on September 12, 2001 and came a day late with a coincidence in timing positively eerie in an industry where the product is made months in advance. DC made the issue returnable without penalty by purchasing comic shops.
  • A Spider-Man/X-Force comic crossover in the early '90s:
    • It had part of the WTC destroyed by supervillains. Try finding it now. Notably, it was the last of Todd McFarlane's run before he jumped ship to Image Comics.
    • Even more, a Spider-Man special from Wizard calls the crossover pointless and (in the wake of 9/11) distasteful.
  • Similarly, the Marvel graphic novel Revenge Of The Living Monolith, which shows the Monolith punching through the WTC on the cover, will likely never be reprinted. The WTC got kicked around a lot in Marvel comics of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

  • Gangs of New York. The final shot is of the Manhattan skyline, with the World Trade Center prominently featured. Its release was delayed; but Scorsese insisted on the shot remaining in the movie, saying the movie was about those who built New York, not those who tried to destroy it.
  • Spider-Man:
    • At least one trailer for the first movie was pulled from distribution because it showed a helicopter filled with bank robbers getting caught in a web stretched between the towers of the World Trade Centernote .
    • In a more positive note, the movie was edited to feature New Yorkers throwing things at Green Goblin and shouting cheesy yet uplifting things like "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!"
    • The WTC can also be glimpsed in the reflection of Spidey's eyes during one of his initial webslinging montages. The way its framed does make it seem like the teaser trailer shot of the helicopter caught in the World Trade Center web was meant to be a segue into this montage, as noted by Doug Walker.
    • In the part where various New Yorkers are talking about Spider-Man not long after he started showing up in the news, one of the "testimonials" is from two workers in Ground Zero.
    • A shot in the ending where Spider-Man sticks on a pole with the American flag flying was added in post-production.
  • Airings of Ghostbusters II were cancelled for some time because of the closing shot of the film.
  • The original ending of Men in Black II was re-shot after 9/11 because it featured the World Trade Center being used as a garage for flying saucers, the final location was changed to the Statue of Liberty.
  • In September 2001, Jackie Chan was supposed to start filming Nosebleed, about a World Trade Center window-washer who foils a terrorist plot. It was scrapped entirely. There is an urban legend that he was supposed to film a scene in the World Trade Center on the morning of 11 September 2001, but that he overslept and missed the scheduled shooting, which saved his life. The veracity of this is unconfirmed. The attacks also forced the start of his cartoon's "Demon Portal" arc with Big Bad Shendu's family back by two weeks, as detailed in the Western Animation folder.
  • On the night of 9/11, The BBC pulled Daylight, which revolves around a tunnel explosion in New York.
  • Lilo & Stitch had to reanimate much of its climax as a response to 9/11; originally, Stitch commandeered a 747 to rescue Lilo, flying around the skyscrapers of Honolulu. The plane was changed to a spaceship, although you can still tell it was once an airplane by looking at its doors. This scene, however, was included on the special edition version of the DVD, and is available as an extra on Disney+.
  • Big Trouble, a film based on a popular comedic novel by Dave Barry in which some Stupid Crooks bring a Suitcase Nuke onto an airplane, was due to be released the Friday after 9/11, and had all 2,000+ of its prints ready to ship out, but was delayed.
  • View From The Top was shelved for 2 years by Miramax after it wrapped up filming in 2001, because the execs felt it would be in poor taste to release a comedy that made light of flight-attendants so soon after 9/11.
  • A particularly infamous post-9/11 edit of Back to the Future removed all references to terrorism. As Marty goes back in time while escaping Libyan terrorists, that scene made no sense, understandably overshadowing the also egregious blurring of a great deal of Product Placement.
  • The 2002 film Bad Company (2002) was held back from its original release for several months because of the terrorism-related plot revolving around planting a bomb to blow up New York's Grand Central Station.
  • Pretty much any film adaptation which originally had Islamic terrorists as the antagonist in the source material. Jumper, it was changed to a bunch of crazed Christians, etc. Not applicable to The Sum of All Fears, where the villains became neo-Nazis, as that was filmed in 2000.
  • Collateral Damage, about a man chasing down the terrorist who killed his family in a bombing, had its release delayed from October 5, 2001 to February 8, 2002. It also originally contained a scene involving an airplane hijacking that was later cut from the movie and there were reportedly other scenes removed that were deemed "unpatriotic".
  • The film of BS Johnson's Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, about a bookkeeper who turns to terrorism, was due for its British release in the autumn of 2001. However due to events that September, which made terrorism seem less like a fun response to life's iniquities, the film's release was postponed and it barely made it into cinemas at all.
  • Certain television stations when airing The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! show the film without the full beginning having the assembled terrorists talking about concocting a terrorist act to show the weakness of the United States.
  • The original script for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had an insanely destructive finale, showing several major American cities and landmarks being obliterated by nuclear blasts. By some accounts this was chopped down to a much-abbreviated sequence because the studio felt that showing such detailed death and destruction wouldn't sit well with audiences that soon after 9/11. However, it has also been suggested that the original ending got changed because it would have been way too expensive to produce, leaving this one up in the air somewhat.
  • Buffalo Soldiers shows the bored US soldiers stationed in West Germany (in 1989) selling stolen weapons to terrorists, who are portrayed somewhat sympathetically. Miramax bought the film on September 10th, 2001 and had to delay it for a year or two.
  • In the Netherlands, Con Air was programmed to air just a few days after 9/11. Being a film about criminals hijacking a plane and eventually crashing it into a building, the network programmers thought this would invoke this trope, and replaced it with Batman & Robin.
  • The 2002 version of the film The Time Machine suffered from a three month delay because of the original script that was abandoned shown sections of the shattered moon crashing into the skyscrapers of 2037 New York City.
  • One of the changes made to the Spring 2002 20th anniversary reissue of ET was tweaking the throwaway line "You are NOT going as a terrorist for Halloween!" to replace "terrorist" with "hippie".
  • Early versions of 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.
  • Scenes of the WTC were removed from People I Know.
  • True Lies:
    • A planned sequel was cancelled. When asked why, some people behind the scenes elaborated that because the film was a comedy that dealt with domestic terrorism, and had a scene of a skyscraper being nuked, it might have been difficult or seen as insensitive so soon after 9/11 for them to discuss how fun it was to film.
    • Because its villains are Islamic terrorists, this also resulted in the special edition DVD release for the original film being canceled. To this day, the only home video releases the film has seen are the original '90s VHS, LaserDisc, D-Theater, and DVD editions (the latter of which is non-anamorphic and looks terrible when played on modern equipment). There are rumors of a special Blu-ray edition happening in the near future, but nothing official has been announced. Only muddling the issue further is the fact that as of 2022, another film directed by James Cameron, The Abyss, hasn't yet made it to Blu-ray, either(True Lies was released to Blu-Ray overseas albeit only in a foreign dub) — and both films are now owned by Disney, which has been notoriously slow to do much with catalog 20th Century Fox titles.
  • Training Day had its original release date of Sept 21st pushed to Oct 5th for several reasons.
  • Averted in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. The World Trade Center towers are seen in the New York scenes of the film, set many years into the future after 2001. Less than three months after the film's release, they were destroyed. Though risking controversy and criticism, Steven Spielberg left the twin towers in the DVD release.
  • Donnie Darko was given a short theatrical run due to being released near 9/11, as the main problem Donnie has to resolve is that he's destined to die from a plane crash.
  • Two Weeks Notice: This was one of the first films released after 9/11 and the film focuses quite a bit on Manhattan architecture (although in a positive way). However, the film's posters all contained iconic shots of the New York skyline. It was too late for them to redo the posters from scratch, so they inserted a shot of Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock standing back to back to block out any view of the Twin Towers. Criticism was issued that the posters were copying the Pretty Woman posters, which is why the producers explained the layout of the posters: it wasn't conscious copying, it was a last minute panic and the end result turned out to be coincidentally similar.
  • Watchmen: According to screenwriter David Hayter, the film's different ending from the graphic novel where Ozymandias frames Dr. Manhattan by blowing up New York with their machine's energy, instead of building a "squid" monster that destroys the city and appears to be an attack by aliens came about because 9/11 happened the day after Hayter signed his contract with Universal. Fearing that mirroring the recent massacre in film would be too painful, he rewrote the ending to instead mirror the more distant bombing of Hiroshima. (The film itself premiered in 2009, eight years after 9/11.)
  • The first Final Destination film, which opens with a plane exploding over New York, was pulled from its (already slightly sadistic) viewing availability on the airlines showing it.
  • In Ocean's Eleven the scene where the characters watch a casino get demolished was altered: Originally it was the actual New York-New York resort being demolished, but after 9/11 it was changed to the fictional Xanadu casino as it bothered the filmmakers to watch a facade of the New York skyline going down in flames so soon after the attacks. (Incidentally, New York-New York became an impromptu memorial in the wake of the attacks, and a sidewalk display of the items Vegas locals brought to the site, such as fire department jerseys, stood for many years.)
  • The Jeremy Irons film The Fourth Angel opened in a number of 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 direct to DVD in the US in 2003.
  • The Bourne Identity had extensive reshoots due the studio fearing that the CIA being the antagonist would make the film come off as "anti-American" but this ended up being thankfully averted as Matt Damon and Doug Liman insisted on sticking to their guns and the re-shot footage was never included in the final film. The special edition DVD has a featurette where they both go into detail about the re-shoots and what was changed.
  • The 2002 Made-for-TV horror film "The Rats" had shots of the WTC removed from the beginning where the titular rats chew the cables and cut power to the Statue of Liberty, also the film was originally scheduled to air on 9/11 but it got pushed back to 2002.
  • The film Trading Places was kept off the air for a few months since the climax of the movie takes place within the Commodities Exchange, which was located in the Center.
  • Deep Impact was kept off the air for a period after 9/11 because of a scene where the World Trade Center is destroyed. When it was brought back into rotation, television broadcasts of the film were edited to remove the offending scene.
    • Similarly Armageddon (1998) had the scene of meteors destroying buildings removed in TV airings after 9/11.
  • Prior to the attack, the "decontamination" gag in Monsters, Inc. ended with the CDA blowing up the restaurant where Boo gets loose, resulting in a big mushroom cloud. Naturally, it was deemed too similar to the imagery of the attack and the gag was changed to the restaurant being engulfed by a gigantic plasma orb.
  • The sequel to Forrest Gump was pitched on Sept 10, 2001, and part of why it never got made is that the book depicts Gump and Taylor being deployed to the Gulf War: hijinks ensue, their team captures Saddam Hussein, and Lt. Dan is killed in action. Also in the screenplay Gump befriended a Native American woman on a reservation who ends up getting tragically killed in the 1994 Oklahoma City bombing.
  • Shots of the WTC were removed from the opening credits of Changing Lanes though on the DVD commentary the director remarked that he regretted editing the towers out and acting like they'd never existed.
  • Shots of the WTC were removed from the beginning of Don't Say a Word and replaced with shots of Brooklyn instead.
  • A mixed example with Mr. Deeds as some shots of the WTC were actually kept in the final film, though at least one shot of the towers during the tennis match was removed.
  • The Direct to Video movie "Air Panic" had a disclaimer at the beginning warning that some scenes might be potentially disturbing to viewers(as the opening sequence involves a plane crash) due to the film only getting released a few months after 9/11(though it had finished production a few months earlier).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica has prominently featured three different storylines involving suicide bombing and four involving torture of prisoners. However, Executive Meddling prevented the show's producers from showing or explicitly stating there were passengers aboard the suicide ship when it was shot down. However, it was more or less stated later on that there were civilians aboard.
  • Also in 2001, the producers of the Law & Order franchise planned a huge multi-part crossover between all three series, which would have revolved around a terrorist plot. After 9/11, the plan was scrapped, and no major crossover has ever been attempted.
  • Each Law & Order series was delayed in its opening, in part because the last shot of the opening credits was of the Manhattan skyline, including the Twin Towers. The towers were edited out, each season premiere also began with a dedication to the victims of 9/11.
  • Power Rangers Time Force:
    • The series experienced an exceptional number of episodes edited before being re-broadcast in order to modify or remove the series staple of exploding buildings during mecha battles. The franchise has never entirely gotten over it since; sparkle effects are added to most instances of fire, and what few exploding buildings that remain from source footage are always empty beforehand. Usual explanations for this consist of Abandoned Warehouse districts or building occupants all successfully evacuating off-screen.
    • Also, footage of the Time Shadow Megazord standing on twin skyscrapers was edited from the series, and the shot of it in the opening credits was replaced by the Q-Rex posing.
    • In the episode "Ransik Lives", Ransik gets on TV and demands the city to surrender to him, or he'll level it. After 9/11, his speech was edited over with the Time Force theme song, making the moment very jarring.
  • The pilot episode of The Agency featured a terrorist plot by Osama bin Laden/Al Qaeda; that episode was delayed after 9/11. Another episode featuring an anthrax scare was delayed after several real-life anthrax attacks.
  • The weekend after 9/11, the scheduled rerun of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda was to be an episode opening with an eco-terrorist group ramming a small fighter into a commercial space liner, killing everyone aboard. It was replaced with a rerun of a different episode which was more of a sweet love story transcending time. Ironically, some stations owned by the company which made the show, which run episodes a week later than independent stations that syndicate the series so as to not cut into their ratings with possibly earlier-scheduled airings available over cable or satellite TV, ran that week the previous episode in the rerun schedule...which featured a would-be suicide bomber.
  • Shortly before Touched by an Angel started its eighth season in September 2001, CBS was scheduled to repeat the Season 7 story "Netherlands" from the previous May. The plot has Monica witness a building being destroyed by a bomb; many are killed, and though she's an angel she has a crisis of faith that culminates in her being tempted to forsake God by Satan himself. The B-plot has new angel Gloria interact with a little girl who succumbs to her injuries. The initial repeat was pulled, but it was allowed to run after some time had passed (it helped that leaving it out altogether would leave major plot holes for later episodes — how Gloria got her name and Monica gained a new ability). From there, Seasons 8 and 9's Christmas Episodes ("A Winter Carol" and "The Christmas Watch") have the angels help people affected by 9/11, making it one of the first shows that directly addressed the event.
  • Friends: Season 8 episode "TOW Rachel Tells..." originally had a subplot where the newly-married Monica and Chandler are boarding an airplane for their honeymoon when Chandler sees a sign saying "no jokes about bombs", makes a joke about it, and gets dragged off by security who take such comments seriously. Just after security let them go Joey and Phoebe call saying that there's an apparent gas leak in their apartment (actually a ploy to get inside). Monica replies into the phone: "Do you think I want that place to blow up?" The guards come in, hearing everything except the first three words, and rekindle their search for the "bomb". These scenes were pulled and replaced with a new subplot of Monica and Chandler losing out on hospitality perks to another honeymooning couple. The original scenes were eventually released on DVD and Blu-Ray with a note about why they were cut.
    • In addition to changing this storyline the producers also stopped using several establishing shots that prominently featured the Twin Towers in favor of other locations around Manhattan.
  • 24 was delayed in its release, as it focused on (preventing) terrorist attacks, and the first episode ended with a plane blowing up. The scenes were included on the Season 1 Special Edition DVD, which was released many years later.
  • The Sopranos was yet another series set in the New York area to have brief shots of the World Trade Center removed from its credit sequence.
  • Pre-September 11 episodes of The Late Show with David Letterman included a joke about New York in the opening. Post-September 11 episodes simply described the show as being broadcast from "the greatest city in the world."
    • Similarly, The Daily Show pre-9/11 had its opening voiceover declare New York City "The birthplace of news!" This line was dropped without replacement after the attacks.
  • The Katherine Heigl made-for-TV movie "Critical Assembly" (about two high-school students who build a nuclear device that gets stolen by terrorists) based on the best-selling James Mills novel "The Seventh Power" was originally titled "Ground Zero" and was scheduled to air in Fall of 2001, after 9/11, it was temporarily shelved, finally getting released in 2003 after being re-titled in order to avoid being associated with the site of the towers.
  • The Roseanne Season 9 episode "Roseambo" (premiered almost five years before the attacks) was withdrawn from syndication after 9/11 due to its terrorism plot (women-hating terrorists hijack an Amtrak train bound for Washington DC and deliberately render it a runaway headed for a downed bridge off a cliff), though it was eventually released on DVD.
  • Repeated airings of the Only Fools and Horses episode "The Sky's the Limit" were cancelled, and the episode was not broadcast again until a number of 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!
  • The City Guys episode "Al's in Toyland" was originally supposed to air in October of 2001 but it's original airing got pulled due to the main plot about Al trying to find a way to market a toy gun for his company without featuring violence in the commercials and the execs clashing with him over it, NBC felt like the subject matter was inappropriate to air so soon after the attacks so the episode wound up being postponed until after the Series Finale had already aired, though the episode did air in it's original intended place in the season when it was rerun in syndication since. However in an interesting subversion, shots of the Twin Towers were still featured in season 5 episodes even after 9/11.

  • The Dream Theater live album Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York was scheduled to hit store shelves on 9/11. The original album artwork had a burning apple wrapped in barbed wire with a silhouette of New York City in the flames (with the World Trade Center towers clearly visible), in what is a very scary coincidence. The album was pulled, given new artwork, and put back on shelves in a few weeks.
  • The Jimmy Eat World album Bleed American was released on July 18th, 2001, became self-titled following 9/11, and has since switched back to the original title for the 2008 reissue. The title track was also renamed "Salt Sweat Sugar" - at least none of the song's lyrics had to be altered, since "Bleed American" was a Non-Appearing Title anyway.
  • "A Dream" by Jay-Z, a tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., includes a sampled verse from Biggie's classic "Juicy," but the line "Blow up like the World Trade" (referencing the 1993 attack) is edited out. However, this doesn't stop people who know and love the original from keeping the line in when singing along.
  • The band I Am The World Trade Center released their debut album in July of 2001, and had chosen their name as early as 1999. The album in question, Out Of The Loop, even had the unfortunate coincidence of featuring a song called "September" as the 11th track. The band, who are a Creator Couple duo, have said that their name was meant to invoke the landmark as a symbol of an "equal and independent" relationship. They briefly started booking performances as I Am The World... as a result, but ultimately kept their original name.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Christmas at Ground Zero" stopped being aired during the winter holiday season after 9/11, due to the site of the attacks being commonly known as Ground Zero. The actual song refers to celebrating Christmas in the middle of a nuclear war.
  • The early The Cure single "Killing An Arab" was somewhat controversial to begin with due to the Unfortunate Implications of the title (though it's actually about the shooting scene in The Stranger), but gained further controversy during the Persian Gulf War and again after September 11th. The 1986 compilation Staring At The Sea included the song, but had a sticker on the front cover explaining its meaning, and it was conspicuously the only non-album single of the period not included in the 2004 reissue of Three Imaginary Boys. It has been played live post-September 11th, but with the chorus changed to "Killing Another", or more humorously "Kissing An Arab".
  • German musician Farin Urlaub of Die Ärzte fame was due to release his first solo album "Endlich Urlaub" (translation: "At last: Vacation") in October 2001, with promotional material already published before September 11th, including the originally planned cover, depicting Farin in front of a burning resort hotel with a jerry can in hand. The cover was pulled and replaced in time, showing burning palm trees in the background instead.
  • The Strokes' Is This It was first released in the UK in July of 2001, but came out in the US a little after 9/11: the band voluntarily demoted the song "New York City Cops" to a b-side for the US release, due to its unfortunate refrain of "New York City cops/ they ain't too smart" (though in context it was just a Non Sequitur comment made by a character in the song). What made this worse is that there were several reviews by American critics already published before the song was removed that called the song one of the album's best tracks.
  • Sugarcult's "Stuck In America" was released as a single just a little before 9/11 - it prominently featured the line "Everybody's talking 'bout blowing up the neighborhood", so a single version was recorded with the lyric altered to "Everybody's talking 'bout moving out the neighborhood".
  • Insane Clown Posse's 2001 rarities collection "Forgotten Freshness Vol. 3" included a new track called "Cartoon Nightmares." One of Shaggy's lines - "I hijack planes and head for record label towers" - was deemed too tasteless (even by ICP's standards), and the line was scrambled beyond comprehension.
  • Funker Vogt's "Body Count", released about a year before 9/11, describes a terrorist attack "much worse than Oklahoma". Not surprisingly, the song was omitted from their subsequent US tour.
  • In 2000, James Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy, and Jonathan Galkin formed a production company (and soon after, a record label) named Death From Above, after Murphy's nickname for a soundsystem he helped build. Once September 11 happened, both the label and production company started going exclusively by "DFA" - it should be noted that DFA is based in New York, so Death From Above would have been seen as being in particularly poor taste there.
  • Bush's album Golden State, released in October of 2001, was affected by 9/11 in two ways: Firstly, lead-off single "Speed Kills" was retitled "The People That We Love" - the original title appeared on pre-9/11 promo singles, but was changed for the official release of the single, as well as for the album proper. Secondly, the album artwork was originally intended to feature the outline of a commercial airliner, but was changed to Minimalistic Cover Art consisting of nothing but the band name and album title over a brown background.
  • CAKE's song Comfort Eagle, from the album of the same name,was originally meant to be released as a single. Due to the 9/11 attacks, though, its release was cancelled (due to lyrics mentioning airplanes, stepping from ledges, and a cult). Love You Madly was released as a single instead.
  • Kenny Chesney was supposed to film a video for his song "The Tin Man" (a 2001 re-release of a song he had previously released in 1994) at the World Trade Center on September 11. However, a delay in shipping the equipment caused the shoot to be postponed. The rereleased version ended up not having a music video, although the original 1994 version did.
  • Primal Scream regularly performed a new song called "Bomb the Pentagon" on their 2001 tour. After 9/11, it was released on the album Evil Heat under the title "Rise", with a different chorus.
  • The cover art for hip-hop group The Coup's album Party Music, created in July 2001 for release that September, featured members Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress crouched beneath an exploding World Trade Center, holding an electronic tuner as a detonator. The entire cover art was scrapped after 9/11, and the release date pushed to November with new art.
  • There was an internal memo circulated at Clear Channel (now iHeartRadio) listing songs to not play/be cautious of playing after 9/11. It had 156 songs, and they were put on the list due to talking about the sky, falling, weapons, death, war, violence, collisions, airplanes, New York, and celebrating September. They also banned some happy songs like "What a Wonderful World" and "Celebration". They banned "Walk Like an Egyptian" because Egypt is in the Middle East. They even banned every single Rage Against the Machine song.

    Music Videos 
  • Disturbed's video for "Prayer" was banned for its focus on devastation, specifically the earthquake scene with rubble falling from the buildings which several deemed too similar to 9/11. The video is meant to be a reference to the book of Job, with its themes of adversity, calamity and recovery.
  • Similarly, Machine Head pulled the video for "Crashing Around You" due to its theme of planes smashing into buildings. It was released shortly before 9/11 and was in rotation on several music TV stations at the time.
  • The music video for the blink-182 song "Stay Together for the Kids" was originally supposed to have the band performing inside an abandoned house that was destroyed by a wrecking ball (a metaphor for the song's themes of divorce). It was filmed just days before 9/11, and when it happened, the wrecking ball footage was deemed too similar to how the World Trade Center was destroyed. As such, the video had to be reshot simply showing the band perform in a empty mansion with other teens.
  • Though not really circulated that often, the Red House Painters music video for their cover of "All Mixed Up" (from Songs for a Blue Guitar) was completely removed from circulation after 9/11 and not seen again until Vevo re-uploaded it to YouTube in 2009. A good portion of the video was shot in the courtyard of the World Trade Center and there's a shot of a fairy creature crying with the towers looming in the distance.note 
  • In the summer of 2001, Lauryn Hill taped a performance for MTV Unplugged 2.0. The show and the accompanying album were shelved for 10 months after 9/11 due to concerns over one new song about religion called "Rebel". Lauryn said she delayed the album because she didn't want to cause riots.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In December 2001, the then-World Wrestling Federation had originally planned to hold their Armageddon pay-per-view, which had been established as the annual December PPV in 1999. However, after the September 11 attacks, the 2001 event was canceled and replaced by Vengeance as the promotion felt that the "Armageddon" name would be offensive to the victims of the attacks. In 2002, Vengeance was moved up to July and Armageddon was reinstated for December.
    • Also WWE Raw'' was changed from it's "Raw is War" monicker(which it had adopted in 1997) back to just "Raw" as they felt like it came off as insensitive.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Given both the New York setting and the fears of children being upset by the events, new material was quickly added to Sesame Street following the attacks addressing issues related to September 11th. The first episode of the season involved a grease fire at Hooper's Store which traumatized Elmo until he's comforted by some real-life firefighters.
  • The Funday Pawpet Show had an emergency episode on the day of the event in order to try and tell people what is going on. Unfortunately, no footage of the episode exists.

  • The BBC were at pains to point out that the episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978) series featuring the destruction of an office building (or to be precise, one of two large towers, albeit connected by a bridge) was originally aired in the early Eighties and wasn't a reference to 9/11. It's best not to speculate about the people that disclaimer was aimed at.
  • In 2001, one of the biggest German radio stations had just switched to an automated system choosing the music instead of a person, however, the moderator could still change the song that would come up. On 9/11, just after the news had come in that the first plane had hit the building, the program played a song called "Burning Down the House". Following his, as he himself called it, failure to change the song in time, the moderator present quit his job two days later.
  • A list of songs that radio stations owned by Clear Channel Radio were advised to avoid playing in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 did the rounds on the internet. Some of the entries were obvious, others much less so. As the Snopes link above shows, some people misread the list as being songs that were outright banned from playing on the air, instead of suggestions about what might not be well-received by the audience. This was controversial among broadcasters and listeners, with Steven Wishnia (senior editor at High Times) pointing out in this article in LiP magazine that:
    It didn't have to be [a direct order]. Who in a job as highly coveted and easily replaceable as radio DJ is going to defy a "suggestion" from on high about what is "inappropriate"? They don't have to spell out Y-O-U W-I-L-L B-E F-I-R-E-D. The kind of people whose immediate response to such a list would be to blast Body Count's "Cop Killer" four times in a row generally don't get such jobs or keep them very long... Clear Channel is big enough to make sure that only certain kinds of voices get heard on the car radios and boom boxes of America.

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • When the attacks actually happened, Disney and then-CEO Michael Eisner ordered all the parks closed and evacuated immediately out of concern of THEM being targets; because of time zone differences, all four Walt Disney World parks were evacuated, while Disneyland and the recently-opened Disney's California Adventures never opened at all. The operation was handled with great care, and the hotels remained opened, but a handful of people were calmly told to leave, but given return passes to the parks and major deals for guests who were stranded when the air grid was shut down. Security booths were installed before the parks reopened, and 9/11 did hit Disney's stock and vacation numbers enough to convince Sid Bass, who had put Eisner up for the job in 1984, to cash in his shares and end his involvement with the company; this whole experience was one of the factors in Eisner's downfall a few years later.
    • At Florida's version of the Jungle Cruise, the jokes the skippers would make about a crashed plane prop were dropped, with the skippers instead being told to find ways to divert guests' attention away from the prop. It wouldn't be for several years until the jokes surrounding the crashed plane were brought back.
    • The Timekeeper at Magic Kingdom featured a view of the NYC skyline, which included the World Trade Center. While the film itself was not changed, the "present-day" year shown on the Timekeeper's machine was permanently set to 2000, whereas before it would always change in correspondence to what the current year was. The attraction would later be quietly closed in 2006 and replaced with the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor show; with the NYC scene possibly being one of the factors in that decision.
  • The tagline of Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream event in 2001 was originally, "This time, terror takes control!", but following the attacks it was changed to, "You wanted scary? Be careful what you ask for!"
  • At Universal Studios:
    • In The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, almost all of the video clips in the queue line that showed the Sinister Syndicate attacking New York City were removed in response to 9/11. It wasn't until sometime around 2009 that these clips were finally restored.
    • Universal's Halloween Horror Nights in 2001 was drastically altered in response to the attack. The event that year was originally going to be played up as "more gorier than every before", and its icon, Eddie, was going to be a chainsaw-wielding maniac. After the attacks, virtually every single hint of violence, gore, and blood was removed from that year's event and became a more traditional fantasyish kind of scary. Eddie was scrapped as the icon and replaced with the return of Jack the Clown, who fits the "fantasy villain" bill. Even the names of almost every house, scarezone, and show were changed. "Bloodbath Underground" became "Ooze Zone Fright Club", "Terrorland" became "Scary Tales", "Festival of the Dead Parade" became "Nightmares on Parade", "Deadly D'illusions" became "Dangerous D'illusions", "Slasher Alley" became "Nightmare Alley", and so on and so forth.
    • Kongfrontation in Universal Studios Florida had to alter their script immediately after the attacks, as the attraction involved King Kong running amok in NYC. References to disaster areas, crashed helicopters and other sensitive lines were removed or edited.
    • In the queue line for the former Twister...Ride it Out attraction, the address number on the firehouse facade was changed from "911" to "291" in response to attacks.

    Video Games 
  • A last minute cut to the ending of Metal Gear Solid 2, which originally involved a huge mobile fortress destroying a large portion of Manhattan, compounded the game's Gainax Ending with illogical scene-switches. Most of these were restored in the Novelization.
    • A line in which Raiden states that the "U.S. President is a terrorist" (after finding out that the President was willingly cooperating with the Sons of Liberty) was re-recorded as well.
    • Some lines were also deleted outright: For example, in the scene that Vamp reveals that Arsenal Gear contained a purified hydrogen bomb, there was originally supposed to be an exchange between Raiden and Vamp that revealed that Dead Cell and Solidus actually had different plans on exactly how they were going to launch that bomb: while Solidus intended to launch it into the sky to cause an EMP wave to short out the Patriots' main computer in Wall Street, Dead Cell intended to simply use it to nuke Manhattan outright.
    • Also, Ocelot (after becoming Liquid Ocelot) was originally supposed to state that he set Arsenal Gear's navigation systems on a direct course to Manhattan, and there would have been a scene of Arsenal Gear plowing through various landmarks before stopping just short of Federal Hall. Ocelot's statement, and everything between Arsenal Gear approaching the coast of Manhattan and Raiden and Solidus falling off of it onto the roof of Federal Hall, was left out in the final version.
    • The Statue of Liberty was going to be moved to a different location in New York, and in the middle of the credits, it was going to show a news report on the Statue of Liberty's relocation. This idea was removed, and the middle of the credits shows live-action footage of NYC instead.
    • After killing Solidus, Raiden was going to cut the rope from an American flag and drop it on Solidus. This particular scene is still in the game but the flag itself was removed. In the scene you can see Raiden moving his sword up and then swinging it in a cutting motion as the sound of a flag extending is heard. The whole thing looks a bit odd, but giving all the stuff you had already gone through until then, it almost passes completely unnoticed.
    • An additional note is that the entire game was very close to being canned entirely at the last second due to the attack. According to The Shedding (a Japanese-exclusive behind-the-scenes book as part of the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater "Extreme Box"), director Hideo Kojima was seriously shaken upon learning what had happened and seeing the plot of his game playing out in real life, and he, his team, Konami, and their American legal department was genuinely considering the option of scrapping the already-completed game out of fear of being targeted by actual terrorists, as well as concerns of retribution from the US government due to heightened reports of hostile xenophobia. It took extensive convincing by Kojima's team and Konami's top brass for the game to press on, albeit requiring several changes in content, including the aforementioned edits to the ending (which was reportedly out of Kojima's individual control).
  • The first mission of the Soviet campaign in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 tasks the player with invading Washington and destroying the Pentagon. In a later Soviet mission where the player must set up a Psychic Beacon near the World Trade Towers, if the towers are damaged, they look eerily like they looked after the September 11th attacks. The game was released in October 2000, nearly a year before the attacks. After the attacks, Westwood pulled all remaining covers that showed a plane flying towards the Twin towers, and re-named the famous landmarks. The Trade Towers are now just Towers, and the Eiffel Tower is "Paris Tower", the Arc of Triumph is the "Paris Arch of Winning" and The Louvre is "Generic World Famous Art Museum" (though Game Mods can restore the names if you want).
    • A bit further down the line, the German version of Command & Conquer: Generals, named Generäle, attempted to preclude this. The entire game was essentially changed. Why? The German authorities were fearful the original version would allow children to play out the (then-on-paper) war in Iraq. Factions had their names changed (Generals proper used the United States, China, and a knockoff of Al-Qaeda), and like they infamously did in every other German C&C release before the above Red Alert 2, all infantry units became cyborgs - save for the Terrorist, who became a rolling bomb. This continued into the German version of Zero Hour, Stunde Null.
  • Grand Theft Auto III (release date: October 22, 2001) went under a few changes following 9/11. They changed the color scheme of the Liberty City police from the NYPD's distinctive blue and white scheme to a Los Angeles inspired black and white color scheme. One mission that involved mentions of terrorism was removed, as was a mission-giver named Darkel who would have given the player missions involving acts of terrorism to bring down the city government.note 
    • However, contrary to popular belief, the Dodo plane didn't have its wings clipped due to 9/11 – rather, it was originally designed that way. Additionally, no other flyable planes were ever intended to appear in the game.
  • The final boss battle of Spider-Man 2 – Enter: Electro originally took place on the World Trade Center. The game's North American and European releases was one month after 9/11. Following the September 11 attacks, Activision halted production of the game in order to remove references to buildings resembling the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, changed the final battle stages, re-edit the cutscenes, and add a large bridge to the model of the World Trade Center. One level was renamed from Top of the World (the real name of the original WTC's observation deck) to Best Laid Plans. They also renamed a few other levels: Aces High became The Gauntlet, Downward Spiral became The Corkscrew and Crash Flight! (in which Spidey has to prevent a plane from crashing) became Wind Tunnel.
  • On the gaming front, it's never too soon for the internet! At least as far as flash goes. Anyone who frequented Newgrounds in the following days was privy to many Trade Center parodies already, those which survived landing squarely in the Bastard category of flash games/movies. Among these was the infamous WTC / NYC Defender, later deleted to make room for the finished product a couple months down the line. However, the game's main site took it down for the usual reasons, as pointed out in this September 14/01 article. Yes, it really was made that soon. Eventually requested NG removal when they began trying a more serious angle. Of similar note is a flash game revolving around that one Marine who lobbed a puppy. For anyone that missed WTC Defender, you had to shoot down hundreds of planes flung at the trade centers as if launched by catapult. Due to the oddly random scoring system, many surmised it represented the amount of people per plane. Ironically, the far more offensive fly a plane into the trade center remains, as the author never asked for it removed.
  • The Modern Warfare 2 "Infamy" trailer has a part where Washington, D.C., gets pretty beat-up into a war zone, including partial destruction of the Washington Monument. And guess what happened next.
  • The Virtual Console release of The Combatribes, a Technos beat-em-up set in Manhattan, renamed the main bad guys from "Ground Zero" to "Guilty Zero".
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002, set to be released in September 2001, was delayed so that the Twin Towers could be removed from the game. And addons put them straight back in. The sort-of realistic online flying network VATSIM was forced to introduce a rule, whereby any user who mimicked any of the hijacked airplanes' actions would be permanently banned from the network.
  • In the first level of Twisted Metal: Black, released in June 2001, you can shoot down a jetliner to reveal a secret passage. In the PAL version, which came out in December of that year, and possibly the Greatest Hits re-release, the plane is already crashed. Later, the Rooftops level has the wreckage of a plane embedded in one of the buildings, which may have also been removed.
  • In 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game, there is an establishing shot of Manhattan with the World Trade Center conspicuously absent. For those who don't know, the game takes place in 1991. Sadly, this was still not corrected in the 2019 remaster.
  • Post-9/11 SimCity games removed the plane crash disaster.
  • Propeller Arena was a plane-based shooter planned for the Sega Dreamcast, with heavy emphasis on online play. Development for the game was completed, but its release was cancelled due to battle taking place in city environments (one level was even called "Tower City"), and because the cover art shows a plane flying above a city, which Sega feared would make people associate it for a terrorist simulator. It was also cancelled because the Dreamcast was nearing its end in America during this time.
  • A promotional image on the website for Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies (depicting the events of Mission 6) originally featured a cityscape behind the harbor the player is expected to attack, which was obscured by the smoke from one of the enemy's battleships after it was sunk. The 9/11 attacks resulted in the dev team removing the cityscape from the image due to a similarity to the damaged Twin Towers. The game would be released in Japan on September 13th, 2001, and the broadcast of a 15-second advertisement showing fighter jets firing missiles was postponed due to the attacks.
  • While this didn't affect the American release of the game, since it hit store shelves on September 10, 2001, Advance Wars saw its planned October release in Japan cancelled. No reason was actually given, but it likely would have been difficult to market a cartoony war game where you fight as Eagleland when global media coverage concerning the United States was talking heavily about 9/11 and the American invasion of Afghanistan. The game would eventually be released as a double-pack with its sequel as Advance Wars 1+2 in 2004.
  • When Nintendo of America announced the American release date for the 3DS remake of Star Fox 64, they chose September 11th, 2011. At the last moment they decided to change the date to September 9th, possibly because it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Didn't stop them from releasing Super Mario Maker that same day four years later, but a Rail Shooter where you're working as a team of private military contractors is a lot easier to connect to the War on Terror than a Platform Game level editor starring a plumber and fire-breathing turtles.
  • Max Payne was first released on PC in July 2001. It features the WTC towers in several billboards for Aesir, and during the graphic novel cutscenes. They are also visible in the background in the beginning of the level "The American Dream". The towers were removed from the PlayStation 2 and Xbox ports of the game, which were released in December 2001.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, released on October 28, 2001, has a stage set in an airport. Originally, one objective in that area was supposed to involve stopping a terrorist attack. When the 9/11 attacks happened about a month before the game's release, the terrorists were reskinned into pickpockets.
  • Dino Crisis 3 was originally going to be set in a dinosaur-infested city. Capcom ditched this concept out of fear of offending post-9/11 American audiences with a city in ruins.

    Western Animation 
  • The Futurama episode "A Taste of Freedom," in which the Decopodians take over Earth after Zoidberg is found guilty of eating the Earthican Flag, was in production during 9/11. As a result, several shots during the invasion scene had to be removed or reanimated, as most of them showed buildings being destroyed. There is some good out of this: one of the replacement scenes is the infamous Visual Innuendo shot of the Decopodians cutting off the tip of the Bill Clinton Monument.
  • A pre-9/11 episode of Family Guy showed Osama bin Laden getting past airport security by singing "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line after Stewie sings On the Good Ship Lollipop to distract security. The scene was cut for subsequent broadcasts (except for some overseas airings, as seen in the UK and Germany, and is on the Family Guy "Freakin' Sweet" DVD set) and has not been seen on TV since it premiered.
  • The Simpsons had one episode that took place in and around the World Trade Center (the season nine premiere "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson", aired September 21st, 1997). While no official move was made by Matt Groening or FOX themselves, several stations acted individually and pulled the episode from their syndication schedules. The ban lasted several years in some cases, but most have re-inserted the episode by now.
    • Notably, this episode was the only episode from Seasons 1-11 never aired by The BBC before they lost the rights to the show, as they first got the rights to Season 9 in October 2001. Sky One, the digital broadcaster of the show in the UK, were the first to air it in the UK post-9/11 in mid-2005, using a heavily edited version which cuts out as much of the Twin Towers as possible.
    • "She of Little Faith" (the episode where Lisa becomes a Buddhist after the church sells out to pay for damages done from Homer's model rocket) was in post-production and about to air at the time of 9/11. A joke about a Middle Eastern man called Hassan Jay Salam being accused of destroying the church because the model rocket has the letters H, J, and S on the side (which is also the initials for Homer J. Simpson) was edited due to fear of complaints. It can be seen on the deleted scene reel on the season 13 DVD set. Also Mr Burns had a line removed prior to airing as closed-captions had him saying "How many Doomsday machines does one man need anyways?" after his failed attempt to get out of paying to have the church fixed and saying "oh just take it!", though those captions were corrected after the initial airing.
    • "Little Girl in the Big Ten" (the episode where Lisa pretends to be a college student) had one line altered prior to airing, in one scene Bart comments on how much he enjoys being in his plastic bubble and admires a sunset, Lisa corrects him saying "that's a bird on fire", originally that line had her saying it was a "plane" that was on fire, understandably the staff felt uncomfortable with the original line and changed it to avoid coming off as insensitive.
  • Following the attacks, Disney and ABC Networks began removing a number of pre-9/11 cartoon episodes from circulation on their networks due to their content being deemed too similar to the attacks. Examples include:
    • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command episodes "Inside Job" and "Conspiracy".
    • The One Hundredand One Dalmatians The Series episodes "Alive 'n Chicken" and "Prima Doggy";note  it wasn't until 2020 when they were made available to watch again on Disney+.
    • The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Mass Transit Trouble".note 
    • The TaleSpin episode "Flying Dupes".
    • The Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "A Lean on the Property".note 
    • While not a ban per se, subsequent broadcasts of An Extremely Goofy Movie had the scene where Goofy and Max save Tank from the collapsing and burning X structure trimmed down. While no reason was ever provided by Disney, it's generally accepted that the scene can be compared to victims of the World Trade Center collapse being trapped in debris begging for help before the structural failure took place.
  • Fox Family (which was to be taken over by Disney in a month after the attacks) followed Disney's suit with the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episodes "Shriek of the Vulture" and "The Final Vulture," both of which contained images of burning skyscrapers.note  In addition to that, episodes that Fox Family yanked include The Tick's "The Tick vs. the Proto-Clown"note , and, for its former parent network, the aforementioned Simpsons episode "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson." (though when that episode came back, some versions either wholesale butchered the episode to remove any scene or mention of The World Trade Center or just edited the part where a man talking to Homer says, "They stick all the jerks in Tower 1").
  • The Invader Zim episode "Door to Door" was delayed so that a scene depicting hypothetical destruction of a citynote  could be changed... into something which was even more nightmare inducing, but which didn't show quite as many destroyed buildings and didn't include the Statue of Liberty in the background. The original version was what wound up playing the day it premiered, because someone at Nickelodeon accidentally put in the master tape instead of the remade version.
    • The episode "The Girl Who Cried Gnome" was almost cancelled due to the scene of the rescue workers trying to free the trapped girl from the Gnome as Nick felt like it came off as insensitive to the rescue workers at Ground Zero in light of 9/11, but they left the episode untouched and instead simply opted not to air it until 2006(with it first premiering on DVD a couple of years before then).
    • The episode "Walk For Your Lives" revolves around Zim trying to get rid of an explosion stuck inside of a time stasis, every frame of the explosion had to be altered to change it from orange and fiery to green(with Dib's skin also being changed to green after he touches the time stasis field)and a gag with the firefighters watching the explosion was also removed.
  • An episode of Justice League was originally to feature a plane crash but was rewritten into a train wreck.
  • An episode of the '90s Spider-Man: The Animated Series involving an incident with the World Trade Center was edited post 9/11 in such a manner the episode's opening is confusing.
  • Time Warner intended to premiere their fall 2001 Kids WB block slate (which included the U.S. debut of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the start of the second season of Jackie Chan Adventures and its demon portal arc) on the 15th, but the terrorist attacks led to the WB pushing the entire season down to the end of the month. Two filler episodes from JCA that take place during the first season and then a third Monday afternoon episode that is not connected to the Shendu's siblings arc aired over the next few weeks, but no other new programming debuted during that time (one of the reasons for the delay could be Sony/Columbia/Tristar/Jackie Chan needing to have any potential images of the World Trade Center in the second episode of the demon arc of JCA airbrushed out; that episode, "The J-Team", includes a brief shot of the New York skyline, and it was supposed to be broadcast the following weekend.) Tragically, the postponement played a role in the screwing over of Rescue Heroes, which was relegated to Wednesdays at 3:00 PM for a year to make up for the delays (it was canceled soon after).
  • The Rescue Heroes episode "Terror in the Tower" was banned for about a year after 9/11 by Kids' WB before returning it to circulation with the revised title "High Anxiety", which has been used in all subsequent broadcasts since then.
  • The Jay Jay the Jet Plane episode "Brenda's Mother's Day" was briefly pulled from reruns because it had a scene where Oscar crashes into a bale of hay on the runway.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants edited a scene from the episode "Just One Bite" because it features a lit match and a bucket of gas being in contact, causing the Krusty Krab to explode and burn. Jay Lender eventually confirmed the 9/11 theory in an email posted on the SpongeBob fansite Spongebuddy Mania. However, the episode premiered one month after the attacks. The only logical explanation for this edit would be that the Nickelodeon censors didn't want kids to think that playing with matches and gasoline was a good thing (which was eventually confirmed by Vincent Waller), and that some countries have laws against showing scenes that are dangerous for kids to imitate, like the United Kingdom.
  • The KaBlam! second season episode, "I Just Don't Get It" was banned from rerunning on Nicktoons after the 9/11 attack due to the matters of the Action League NOW! episode "Caged Thunder", where the mayor wanted to destroy the capital building of Washington DC. This episode no longer reruns on Nicktoons since 2001, but however, it did reair later on NickRewind years later (known before as Nick Splat, The Splat and The '90s Are All That) and is available for streaming on Paramount+.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman" from 1994 featured a scene where Waffle Woman destroys New York City with her "Radioactive Polythermal Syrup Launcher", blatantly showing the Twin Towers blowing up. After 9/11 (almost seven years since the episode first aired), the episode was withdrawn from further reruns on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons TV and Spike TV, though it eventually resurfaced on DVD and would occasionally be rerun on the Teennick cable channel (as part of their Nick Rewind retro block).
  • Max Steel:
    • Cartoon Network's reruns, and even their initial run of the third season, had quite a few episodes skipped over for several iterations. There was never any comment about it (possibly on account of the fanbase being tiny) but all of the episodes skipped over had buildings or otherwise large things blowing up, suggesting 9/11 paranoia (one of the show's animators, when blogging retrospectively about his work on this show in particular, commented that the episode he was talking about probably actually wouldn't be aired again on account of 9/11.) To be fair, when the series went into its last run before it went off the air, the end of the lineup was all the episodes previously skipped over in a row. Worth noting that, although these labels are never used in the show itself, the show is about a group of counter-terrorists fighting and beating terrorists.
    • One subset of the toyline, Urban Siege, had to be discontinued rather quickly because many of the story cards on the back of the figures' packaging referred to terrorism; one even had a villain destroying New York with energy waves from the top of the World Trade Center.
  • The MTV series Spy Groove had it's final episode "Manhattan Glam Chowder" removed from the airwaves in the U.S. after 9/11 due to it featuring the twin towers, though it has aired overseas since.
  • Batman Beyond had the episode "Unmasked" postponed until December 2001 due to it featuring a scene of a kid trapped on a jungle gym on fire which Kids WB thought was too reminiscent of 9/11, so it ended up not airing until after the season finale.
  • The Johnny Bravo episode "Bootman" was temporarily removed from reruns after 9/11 due to the scene of a super-powered Johnny using his super-strength to casually toss a passenger jet, resulting in it crashing off-screen. The episode "The Man Who Cried Clown" was also removed from reruns around that time due to the plot being a homage to The Twilight Zone segment "Terror at 20,000 Feet"(with the Gremlin being substituted with a Clown).
  • Rocko's Modern Life had the episode "Jet Scream" pulled from reruns on Nick after 9/11 though it did return to the airwaves on Nicktoons a year or so later.

  • The Other Wiki has a comprehensive list of entertainment that was affected by the attacks.
  • The Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner took place barely a couple of weeks after 9/11, with the result that none of the comedians involved really knew how far they could go with the jokes. Rob Schneider delivered a very tame set, which wasn't well received, but then up stepped Gilbert Gottfried. His first line was that he had been delayed because "he had a connecting flight at the Empire State Building", which was met with booing and calls of "too soon". His response was to launch into The Aristocrats, probably the most "too far" joke in existence — and brought the house down, largely because his fellow comedians appreciated the catharsis of what he was doing (and largely because Gilbert Gottfried's voice can make pretty much anything funny). The footage wasn't aired when Comedy Central showed the roast, but it did turn up as part of The Aristocrats film.
  • George Carlin's 2001 HBO Special changed its title from I Like It When a Lot of People Die to Complaints and Grievances because of the attacks, and he added a 5-minute set about 9/11 in front of it. He would similarly have to change his 2005 HBO special from the same original title to Life is Worth Losing after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Ever since the attacks, New York Primary elections that would otherwise fall on Tuesday, September 11th are postponed until that Thursday, September 13, as the attacks happened on Primary day.
  • In order to trap the hard-of-thinking into a knee-jerk "Too soon!" reaction as a way of satirizing what he saw as a morbid obsession with 9/11, Kevin Klerck set up a petition at that claimed the second film of The Lord of the Rings trilogy had been named The Two Towers in order to exploit the disaster, and demanded it be renamed. A corresponding protest site was also established at (now unclaimed). The fact that the book had used this title in 1954 apparently didn't register to most of the initial signers of the petition.
  • On the September 12, 2011 edition of Countdown, Keith Olbermann denounced an architectural project from the Rotterdam firm MVRDV that featured paired skyscrapers connected by a "pixelated cloud". The firm's statement said in part: "It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks, nor did we see the resemblance during the design process."
    • Olbermann would later devote a September 11 segment of his ESPN2 show to misguided merchandising attempts trying to use 9/11 to sell you their products...and bashing Major League Baseball for not letting the Mets wear NYPD and FDNY caps over MLB's own "commemorative" caps.
    • He also went on a huge, righteous tirade in response to the 2008 Republican National Convention's use of Sept. 11 footage in a promo blaming the Clinton Admin. for the attacks and warning viewers that voting for Barack Obama could make us vulnerable to more such attacks.
  • Issue #411 (November 2001) of MAD was originally supposed to have a cover featuring mascot Alfred E. Neuman mistaking crime scene tape for the finish line of a race. The cover was deemed insensitive after 9/11, so it was hastily pulled and replaced with a stock Alfred image photoshopped to have an American flag in place of his missing tooth. A few copies of the original cover supposedly got out, and the art was re-purposed in other markets.
  • In the Austin Powers pinball machine by Stern Pinball, there is an animation of Dr. Evil's laser beam blowing up Washington D.C. After the attacks, Stern released a software update that disables this animation by default (though the operator may re-enable it via the test menu).
  • Robert Lepage's play, Zulu Time, which depicted terrorism and plane crashes, was set to have it's New York premiere during the Quebec-New York 2001 exhibition on September 21st. Not only was the show cancelled, but the entire exhibition was also cancelled as it's main venue, the World Financial Center, was damaged in the attacks.
  • Gordon GG Gebert's "Rock and Roll War Stories"(funny anecdotes about famous rock stars) had its 2001 release delayed due to the title, as his way of paying tribute to the fallen and supporting the troops he included photos of sexy women dressed in army fatigues featured throughout the book.