Singer and actress Cher will no longer star in or executive produce Lifetime’s upcoming movie about the crisis that left Flint, Michigan’s predominantly Black denizens with unsafe drinking water.
According to an article published by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday (March 24), Cher said that a "serious family issue" prohibited her from traveling to Toronto to film "Flint" next month. "This has been a project so near and dear to my heart, and I was truly looking forward to helping tell this story," said the singer. NBC News reported in January that she donated more than 180,000 water bottles to Flint in conjunction with the Icelandic Glacial water company.
News of Cher’s casting in early January prompted criticism, with people pointing out that Black people are the primary victims in the Flint water crisis. The Hollywood Reporter did not attribute Cher’s departure to the criticism, and did not specify a replacement producer or star for the project.
Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("Chicago") developed the project after purchasing the rights to a February 2016 Time cover story. Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy") will direct Barbara Stepansky‘s ("Hurt") screenplay.