Idris Elba will be producing a documentary titled Paid In Full: The Battle for Payback, shedding light on the exploitation of Black artists within the music industry. The documentary, to be broadcasted on the BBC and CBC networks, aims to uncover the historic injustice faced by these artists and explore avenues for reparations.
Idris Elba’s wife, Sabrina, will join forces with Idris’s production company, Green Door Pictures, alongside her company, Pink Towel, to produce the three-part documentary. The film will delve into the music industry’s exploitation of Black artists, shedding light on their denied fair share of profits and the fight for industry change.
Contributions from filmmaker MK Asante Jr. and Lawrence Lartey of Ravensbourne University, who has collaborated with Barack Obama’s Obama Foundation, will provide valuable insights.
Idris Elba released a statement emphasizing the significance of the documentary, highlighting the exploitation endured by generations of musical talents and the need to grant acknowledgment and restitution for their contributions:
“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. 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 acknowledgement and paying back what is due.”
The film aims to address the economic and status-related injustices inflicted on these artists.
In addition, the documentary will shed light on historical instances of Black artists being deprived of their rightful rewards, such as the case of Rock & Roll pioneer Little Richard, who faced difficulties in receiving his full proceeds. The film will also examine contemporary challenges artists face, including equity and fair payment issues within the music industry.
The efforts for equity in the music industry have gained momentum in recent years, with the establishment of the Black Music Action Coalition, co-signed by former Migos rapper Offset, and Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s public claims of improper payment by her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment.
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Late pop icon Michael Jackson, known for his influence and impact on the music industry, has assisted other Black artists, contributing to the broader conversation of the music industry’s treatment of Black talent.