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The CW’s new Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries, introduced viewers to a 1980s-tinted New York, complete with checkered taxi cabs and larger-than-life cellular phones. But in what was supposed to be a shot of a 1984 Manhattan skyline, the iconic twin towers were noticeably absent.
For executive producer Amy B. Harris, who worked on Sex and the City, the decision to omit the landmark was a deliberate one.
“We try to use stock footage when we’re using footage of the city that is period correct. In the pilot, we used a lot of 1980s streets and buildings,” Harris told The Hollywood Reporter. “But when we sat down to talk about it — because we knew this was something that we would have to be thinking about through the season and the series — there were obviously going to be stock footage shots with the twin towers in them. How did we want to address it?
“When we sat down, it was a unanimous decision,” she added. “If we caused one person discomfort or pain, it felt like the wrong choice. We were all in agreement on that.”
Harris was aware of the critiques and opinions that the World Trade Center’s twin towers absence would garner.
“I totally wouldn’t want it scratched out of movies and TV shows that [took place] before 9/11, but occasionally when I watch a sitcom that I love and the stock shots that come before the scenes has the twin towers, it gives me pause for a minute,” Harris said. “If we had a choice, it felt like the more sensitive choice.”
She added: “I appreciate that some people may feel that we should show them, but I really just feel that we’re telling a show about love and coming of age, and it didn’t seem like the appropriate place to make that statement.”
Harris recalled making a similar tough call in 2001 following the terrorist attacks while working on the HBO series.
“When we were on Sex and the City, we shot pre-9/11 and post-9/11. We had a lot of long conversations. It wasn’t 10 years later, it was months later, and we really decided we were not the type of show where it was appropriate to address 9/11 directly. We had an episode where she says she loves her boyfriend Manhattan as the first episode back, in our own way acknowledging how much we loved the city and felt protective of it, but we felt it wasn’t our place to talk about something that was so painful and impactful in our television series,” Harris said. “I felt the same for this show.”
The Carrie Diaries airs at 8 p.m. Mondays on The CW.
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