‘Flint’ Lifetime Movie: Josh Sanburn Article, “The Toxic Tap,” Basis For Michigan’s True Story Water Crisis Film


Flint is a Lifetime movie about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, is set for airing this Saturday. The Lifetime movie is based on Josh Sanburn‘s original full-text article “The Toxic Tap.” TV Crime Sky‘s attempts to view it online were unsuccessful. Many will want to read the true-story article that inspired Flint 2017. It is available at most libraries. Here are a few highlights.



The Flint movie on Lifetime

One woman’s complaint about the water system in Flint, Michigan and the effects on her family explodes in a scandal.


Flint the Lifetime movie, was inspired by the article “The Toxic Tap,” by Josh Sanburn. It was featured as a cover story in Time magazine on February 1, 2016. With 15 photos inside, Josh Sanburn’s “The Toxic Tap,” exposed and addressed the issues, Flint, Michigan residents were facing. The huge water crisis, which had been going on as early as 2014, was brought to the public’s attention once residents began noticing changes in the color of the water.


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According to “The Toxic Tap” article, Flint, Michigan residents saw blue, green, yellow, and brown water pouring from the faucet. If that wasn’t disturbing enough, the water also began to have a strange smell similar to gasoline or fish. However, when children began presenting with strange body rashes and respiratory infections, it became apparent to residents that something was terribly wrong.


Community members were outraged when they learned the city of Flint tried to save money by pulling water from a local river. They say the greedy move left residents with all sorts of skin problems, such as rashes and burns. One mother stated she had seen a red mark on her small son’s body, and another person’s child was diagnosed with anemia.



Flint residents were especially angry with Gov. Rich Snyder, who many believed didn’t care about the water or the effect it had on their children. In addition to the other problems named above, over time, a person who is exposed to contaminated water and lead on a consistent basis can develop damage to the brain.


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“The Toxic Tap” article featured the stories of Leeanne Walters (Lee Anne Walters), a mother who refused to use the water to cook and shower, Melissa Mays, a 37-year-old mother whose hair fell out in clumps and clogged her drain. Then, there is the story of Ariana Hawk, 25, a mother whose 2-year-old son developed a rash from the bath water.


People also complained of seizures and nagging coughs as a result of the polluted water. Flint will tell the stories from their perspectives.


The water crisis is happening in Flint, but it can happen in any state. One mother said what was most troubling about the Flint water scandal was the public only had two choices: to buy water or to use contaminated water. She found this irritating because clean water is a basic human right.



Lifetime Television’s Flint movie is directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Barbara Stepansky.  According to the IMDB, the executive producers of Flint are Cher, Katie Couric, Neil Meron, Mark Nicholson, and Craig Zadan. It is produced by Sony Pictures.


Cher was supposed to appear in the Lifetime film but dropped out. The Flint movie world premiere begins this Saturday, October 28, at 8/7 p.m. Central on Lifetime Television.


[Main Image via Raffy Photography/A+E Networks/Permission Granted]



Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as Examiner.com and Inquisitr.com. Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.