Cher will star in the first movie made about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has left nearly 100,000 residents in the predominantly Black low-income city without access to safe drinking water.
The singer and award-winning actress will play a resident whose family is impacted by the crisis, a role she scored after reportedly reaching out to producers. Cher has been vocal on the issue and donated thousands of water bottles in January 2016.
Despite her previous charitable involvement, some Twitter users have taken issue with her casting:
@Variety @cher whenever there is a tragedy involving Black people Hollywood makes it about a white person. I’m so tired of Hollywood
— Ryan Bowman (@ryancake5) January 6, 2017
Please don’t forget that black women and mothers overwhelmingly have been the on the ground leaders in the #FlintWaterCrisis https://t.co/Ax9UnjUJ8v
— Amanda C. Itliong (@MIShouldTalk) January 6, 2017
How dare they make a fucking movie FIRST with @cher before fixing the #FlintWaterCrisis & flint is mostly poc so what is this?! Wtf https://t.co/TM1MEaHilB
— Jim Crow Jones (@EphemeraLiberty) January 6, 2017
Many are dismayed that the film cast a White woman to portray a disaster that has disproportionately impacted Black families. Others questioned making a movie while the crisis is ongoing: Flint residents continue to rely on bottled or filtered water for their daily needs as they wait for the city to replace water lines.
“Flint” producers include Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Cher herself. The plot is based on a February 2016 TIME cover story.