Idris Elba Pushes for Equality in Music with ‘Paid in Full: The Battle For Payback’

Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures and his wife Sabrina Elba’s Pink Towel have teamed up to release the documentary, Paid in Full: The Battle for Payback.   

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In partnership with CBC and BBC, the two will exploit racism in the music industry. According to Variety, it will highlight Black musicians who have been denied royalties and payments for their work. 

“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,” shared Tanya Shaw, managing director of Zinc Television, another partner on the project. “It will also major in on conversations of structural racism and those who have worked so hard to expose them.” 

The three-part docuseries will examine the “historical injustice” many notable hitmakers suffered throughout the years. It will chronicle stories about Black pioneers such as Jimi Hendrix, funk legend George Clinton, and Little Richard. They will also compare today’s racial inequality in the music industry with the past.  

The husband-and-wife duo has called in esteemed filmmaker, MK Asante Jr., and Lawrence Lartey to tackle the challenging topic. Lartey is the director of innovation at the Ravensbourne University London, who has worked closely with President Obama’s foundation on their “My Brother’s Keeper” philanthropic efforts. 

Their main initiative is to bring the critical issue to the forefront and demand change within the entertainment space. Elba, the CEO of Green Door Productions, hopes executives and music giants start to take accountability for their actions. 

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

Jennifer Dettman, executive director of unscripted content at the CBC, said, “We look forward to sharing this important series with audiences in Canada, offering a necessary and in-depth exploration of the structural racism inherent in the music industry and its impact over the decades.” 

They have yet to confirm the premiere date for the highly anticipated documentary. 

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

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