BBC & CBC partner with Idris & Sabrina Elba & Supercollider for docuseries co-commission

Idris Elba. Pic credit: Mark Hanson

UK and Canadian pubcasters, the BBC and CBC, have co-commissioned Paid In Full: The Battle For Payback (working title), a docuseries about the systematic exploitation of Black artists by the music industry.

Zinc Media-owned Supercollider, Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures and Sabrina Elba’s Pink Towel are co-producing the series, which will explore what it would look like for Black artists to receive reparations.

The co-commission is funded and co-produced via a partnership between Abacus Media Rights (AMR) and Media Musketeers Studios, with AMR distributing internationally. The series will launch in the UK on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer and CBC and CBC Gem in Canada.

The 3 x 60-minute series examines the disparity of profits received by Black artists, despite having created the records that have driven the fabric and culture of popular music.

Joining the dots between earlier decades in the story of the music industry, from jazz and rock and roll to soul and rap, the series will also look at racial inequality in the music industry both today and in the past.

Paid In Full: The Battle For Payback is executive produced by Greg Sanderson for Supercollider, Idris Elba for Green Door Pictures, Sabrina Elba for Pink Towel and Julie Bristow for Catalyst, while the showrunner is David Upshal.

“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 Idris 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 acknowledgement and paying back what is due.”

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