Idris Elba to produce docuseries on racism in the music industry

"Paid in Full: The Battle for Payback," which the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and the BBC commissioned, will focus on the music industry's history of exploiting Black artists.

Idris Elba is involved in a project that will shine a light on racism in the music industry. The “Luther” star is set to produce “Paid in Full: The Battle for Payback” through his Green Door Pictures. A collaboration with Zinc Media label Supercollider, the docuseries will take a hard look at how the music industry often exploits Black talent, according to recent reports.

Cheltenham Festival 2023: Day Four
Idris Elba arrives ahead of Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival 2023 on March 17, 2023 at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Pink Towel, the company of Elba’s wife Sabrina Elba, is also a producer of the documentary. The three-part project, which the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and the BBC commissioned, will dive deep into the pay disparities and various injustices Black artists have suffered despite their undeniable contributions to the music industry’s success at large. In addition, the project is also said to explore reparations for Black artists and how that could be possible, per Variety.

“This is a story that touches all of us,” Elba said in a statement. “It’s about the people who created the soundtracks of our lives in popular music and the pain of their exploitation.

“It’s also about bringing the music industry to account for the injustice inflicted on generations of musical talents who have been deprived of their rightful rewards both financially and in terms of status and respect. At the heart of it is the need to make amends — granting acknowledgment and paying back what is due.”

Zinc Television Tanya Shaw noted in the statement that “Paid in Full: The Battle for Payback” will go beyond what might be expected. “Far from being a straight music documentary, this series will explore the music industry within a racial context and reflect the history of exploitation within the industry,” she said. “It will also major in on conversations of structural racism and those who have worked so hard to expose them.”

Media Musketeers Studios and Abacus Media Rights (AMR) are co-funders and co-producers of the docuseries. The latter plans to handle international distribution.

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