Two of the most powerful and adored artists have joined forces to bring attention to the tainted water supply in Flint Michigan, a problem that has caused a massive public health crisis throughout the state. Lifetime has recently announced that it will be drifting away from its usual romance genre to focus on the water crisis with a movie starring rap veteran Queen Latifah and soulful diva Jill Scott called, Flint.
Queen Latifah will serve as the executive producer with Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Katie Couric, and the cast will include Martin Ireland and Betsy Brandt.
Flint, directed by Bruce Beresford, was inspired by the Time magazine cover story, “The Toxic Tap,” by Josh Sanburn. In the film, Queen Latifah and Jill Scott will play the role of female activists in Flint who seek justice for residents of a city who unwittingly ingested lead-contaminated water.
These women inspired a national movement calling for safe drinking water, but their plans were met with political opposition.
According to BET, the film is struggling with criticism due to the fact that Flint, Michigan is facing the same water problem despite an ongoing crisis which made headlines and many social media topics.
The crisis began in 2011 after a projected city deficit of $25 million, causing officials to dip into the city’s water supply money while the water supply fund was $9 million in the red. With a shortage in water supply funds, the city switched water sources in 2014. During that time, the city waited for a new pipeline to Lake Huron and turned to the Flint River as a water source during the two-year transition. However, Flint River has been contaminated since 1967 since the state purchased its supply through the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
Flint’s water supply has had a history of contamination due to “the presence of fecal coliform bacteria, low dissolved oxygen, plant nutrients, oils, and toxic substances in the 1970s,” CNN reports. The state has made several attempts to clean the water supply, but failed to clean it properly with the required agents, in violation with federal law.
Creators of the film are hoping to create a broader awareness of the crisis, a problem in the city that is causing major health concerns for its residents.
Written by: Taylor Bennett