1 of 6 | Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Idris Elba attend the 95th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023. The couple is co-producing a documentary, "Paid in Full" about racism in the music industry. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
May 22 (UPI) -- Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba are co-producing a documentary on racism in the music industry with the CBC and the BBC.
As first reported by Variety, Paid in Full: The Battle for Payback will cover the plight of Black artists who have been exploited and denied royalties and payment for their work. The three-part docuseries is being produced by Idris Elba's Green Door Pictures and Sabrina Elba's Pink Towel.
"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," says Tanya Shaw, managing director of Zinc Television, another producer on the project. "It will also major in on conversations of structural racism and those who have worked so hard to expose them."
The documentary will discuss the ways that Black music, from jazz to hip-hop has been exploited for profit but that its creators don't always see their fair share of royalties and publishing dollars. Music history is rife with stories of innovative Black artists like Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton and Little Richard being paid little to nothing for work that made others millions.
Idris, who among his many hats as producer, actor, and endorser, is also a deejay likely has a personal stake in the documentary due to his musical interests. He appeared on the Jay-Z album American Gangster in 2007 and has more than 100 music credits.
David Upshal is the showrunner and author and American author and filmmaker MK Asante (Buck, It's Bigger than Hip Hop ) will contribute along with Lawrence Lartey the director of innovation, industry and enterprise at Ravensbourne University in London.
"This is a story that touches all of us," Idris says. "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."