Family members of 9/11 victims are outraged that a climactic scene in which a greedy hedge-funder in the season finale of Showtime “Billions” was filmed at the Ground Zero Memorial.
The May-episode 7 shows Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, played by Damian Lewis, in a tense conversation with his confidant Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) in addition to the twin reflecting pools in the footprint of the destroyed World Trade Center. A fleet of FBI agents then winds up in the memorial plaza and cuts him on insider-trading charges.
The scene has reignited the debate over whether the site should be off-limits for commercial or entertainment interests. Some families say that the holy cemetery should not be cheapened like a Hollywood backdrop. Others believe that the site is a part of the structure of the city and a symbol of the recovery — and that the media access helps to ensure the history is never to be forgotten.
The almost 4 minute scene was a “disgusting disgrace,” fumed a 9/11 family member.
“It is outrageous. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum people from the exploitation of the dead [land] should be a place of reverence and holiness,” Sally Regenhard told The Post through tears.
Regenhard schedule for the filing of a protest with Showtime executives to voice her displeasure.
Paul Sipos, 76, who lives seven blocks from Ground Zero, said he was “revulsed” by the scene, and will no longer watch the show, which follows the path of a ruthless, but sometimes good Wall Street exec whose wife died on 9/11.
“I was outraged that they [memorial administrators] would do something,” Sipos said. “It was shocking.”
“Billions” showrunners have to obtain a license from both the city and the 9/11 Memorial non-profit. The memorial cost 150 euro fee, but “additional location, and the use charges may apply,” according to the online guidelines.
The city said it issued its permit only after the museum officials “sanctioned the shot.”
City hall spokesman Ben Sarle defended the move.
“The head of Memorial told us that he has many calls from families who feel that the scene in ‘Billions’ brought attention to the Memorial in a respectful and appropriate way,” he said.
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