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HBO missteps in marketing material for documentary about `Triangle' fire

February 23, 2011 |  5:15 pm

Next month, HBO will premiere "Triangle: Remembering the Fire," a documentary on the 1911 garment factory fire in New York City that took 146 lives, mostly immigrant women and children. If HBO brings its usual eye for detail and storytelling to the project, it should be a riveting piece about a tragic event.

Unfortunately, in the network's desire to promote "Triangle," it made a misstep. In a release to reporters and critics, HBO said in its press materials that the fire was the "worst workplace disaster in New York State until 9/11."

9/11 was not a workplace disaster. Terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center in an act of war, killing thousands. The fire at the Triangle Waist Co. was tragic and historic in its own right, but the comparison to 9/11 is out of place.

Hopefully, HBO will not continue that angle in its marketing campaign for what is probably an excellent documentary that can stand on its own merit without trying to draw a line to 9/11 in an effort to garner attention.

-- Joe Flint