The New York Times Magazine's David Marchese asked Burns if he was still optimistic about the United States in the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol Takeover. "I can’t put my finger on why other than that if you have been aware that we have gone through similar things, there is a sense of power, or maybe the word is perspective, that permits you to have a kind of optimism," says Burns. "In the ’08, ’09 meltdown, I had friends, including people in the financial industry, who would say to me: “Man, this is so bad. This is a depression.” And I said: 'It’s really bad, but in our Depression, in many American cities the animals in the zoo were shot and the meat distributed to the poor. When that happens, I’ll grant you that this is a depression.' That was inoculating the Chicken Little in us from a sense of doom. Is that optimism? Maybe. It is perspective." As for The Civil War, Burns was asked how he'd approach the documentary in 2021 after being criticized for the film being too sympathetic to the Confederacy. "I don’t know. It just would naturally be different," he says. "But not in any fundamental way. It was important to represent all the different voices that we represented. The most important thing about me talking about race now is to say that I am in a position where I have to be quiet. You have to be quiet. There are other voices that need to speak. The dismantling of white supremacy is not just white people continually talking about the dismantling of white supremacy. You have to shut up and listen. Shut the (expletive) up. So I can be a reporter. I can be an aggregator. I can be a distiller. But I wish the films to be populated with voices that are not my own. And I don’t mean just for representation, which is important, but for how you unpack all these things."