12:06pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
Cher Drops Out of Lifetime's Flint Water Crisis Movie
Cher is exiting Lifetime's Flint, the network's TV movie about the Michigan city's water crisis.
The singer-actress was set to portray a Flint resident whose family is impacted by the water crisis in the drama inspired by a February 2016 cover story in Time magazine called "The Toxic Tap" by Josh Sanburn. Her departure is due to a family issue that prevents her from traveling to Toronto, where the project is set to start filming 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 Cher, who has been actively involved in helping Flint residents by donating thousands of bottles of water. "Unfortunately, I will be unable to leave Los Angeles during the scheduled filming as I am dealing with a serious family issue that prevents me from going on location for the April filming. I’m so glad that Craig and Neil [the producers] plan to move ahead, and I know that this Lifetime movie will be done beautifully."
The Sony Pictures Television movie hails from live musical duo Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who optioned the rights to the Time magazine story via their Storyline Entertainment shingle. Katie Couric is on board as an executive producer. Cher, who was also an executive producer, will no longer be involved in the project. Barbara Stepansky penned the script and Bruce Beresford is set to direct.
Flint would have marked Cher's second TV movie role, following HBO's 1996 If These Walls Could Talk about three different women's experiences with abortion. The role earned her a Golden Globe nomination.