CSI: NY star Gary Sinise has defended TV producers' decision to film a new episode of the crime drama recounting the terrorist attacks of 9/11, insisting it's meant as a "tribute" to the victims of the tragedy.
The eighth series of the show will kick off with a storyline about the characters' own experiences on September 11, when two hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers at New York's World Trade Center, killing almost 3,000 people.
The episode's plot has prompted some critics to accuse TV executives of insensitivity, particularly as the show will air on Friday, less than two weeks after Americans marked the 10th anniversary of the atrocity.
However, actor Sinise, whose character Detective Mac Taylor is a 9/11 widower, insists the season premiere of CSI: NY is tastefully done.
Speaking to CNN, he says, "Clearly honoring those that sacrificed on that day and remembering what happened on that day is very, very important...
"Clearly we went through a big 10th anniversary moment just recently, where there was a lot of activity around the September 11 opening of the memorial there (at the World Trade Center site), a lot of looking back, a lot of retrospect and everything."
"And CSI: NY, our show is based there; my character is a 9/11 family member, he's somebody who lost his wife at the World Trade Center and we thought it was appropriate to begin our season with in tribute to what happened on that day and take a look back and see what our characters were going through at that moment."