The city hit the news at the beginning of the year (16) when it was revealed residents had been drinking water from the polluted Flint River, and celebrities like Mark Wahlberg and Cher have recently stepped in to offer help in the form of bottled water.

But Bowling For Columbine director Moore believes it's shameful the water crisis was allowed to go on for so long before America took notice.

He tells Real Time host Bill Maher, "This was a decision made by a Republican Governor to get the rich in Michigan a billion dollar tax break and then when they had a billion less dollars in the budget, it was like, 'OK, what are we gonna do? We gotta cut back on services. Anybody got any ideas? Yeah, let's take Flint off the drinking water from the Great Lakes and make them drink from the Flint River so we can save money.'

"Within a few months they realised they were poisoning people and the word came down, 'Don't say anything, doctor the books!' They let people continue to drink this water and did nothing about it and I think that is a crime. And they did it because it's a black city, it's a poor city... This was a hate crime based on this race hatred of this particular party...

"They went another nine months hoping nobody would pay any attention, because 'these are just a bunch of black people, poor people; they have no lobbyist, they have no money in this'."

And Moore was further sickened when U.S. leader President Barack Obama flew to Flint earlier this month (May16) and sampled the water for himself.

"I'm very upset that President Obama went there and drank a glass of water and said, 'It's OK, everybody to drink the water'," he adds. "It was just a stunning, sad thing to see happen... It's really shameful that he did that."