Little Mix's Leigh-Anne Pinnock to front BBC documentary on racism and colourism

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Leigh-Anne Pinnock attends the "Top Boy" UK Premiere at Hackney Picturehouse on September 04, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Leigh-Anne Pinnock confirms new BBC documentary exploring racism. (Getty Images)

Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock hopes to protect future generations from being exposed to systemic racism by using her voice in a new documentary.

The 28-year-old singer is to front Leigh-Anne: Colourism & Race, a special one-off film for BBC Three, directed by her childhood friend Tash Gaunt.

Pinnock said: “I want to make this film because I have always been passionate about rights for black people.

Read more: Leigh-Anne Pinnock feared she'd lose career by speaking about racism

“Conversations surrounding racism and colourism are something I constantly have with my boyfriend and family, and as I have a platform, I want to use that platform to bring this conversation to a wider audience and stand up for my black and brown community.

“Systemic racism is complex; through making this documentary I want to learn how I can best lend my voice to the debate so that the young people who look up to me won't have to face what me and my generation have had to.”

Band members Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, of Little Mix, pose for photographers upon arrival at the Global Gift Gala in London, Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Little Mix stars Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards in March 2019. (AP)

Cameras will give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Pinnock’s life at home and with girlband Little Mix, as she discusses her her own personal experiences of racism and colourism with friends and family.

As a black woman in the UK, Pinnock wants to explore the question of whether having lighter skin and being a celebrity puts her in a more privileged position than others.

She will also meet with her role models and use her platform to debate wider race issues faced across Britain.

Fiona Campbell, controller at BBC Three, said: “This is a film we commissioned a few months ago and the start of filming with Leigh-Anne has coincided with the tragic death of George Floyd and the current protests and debates which have brought these issues into sharper focus for her, for Britain and the world.

“By working with high profile talent like Leigh-Anne, and other important individuals she will meet through this process, we hope the honest conversations this film will feature will have the power to change attitudes, offer insight and help to prevent racism in our society.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01:  Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix performs on stage during day 3 of Fusion Festival 2019 on September 01, 2019 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Leigh-Anne Pinnock will discuss her own experiences of racism and explore the wider issues. (Getty Images)

The documentary, made by Dragonfly Film & TV, is being produced by Kandise Abiola.

Pinnock made headlines in June this year when she posted a video on Instagram saying being “the black girl” in the group has meant she has had to work “ten times harder”.

She was photographed marching at one of the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests that took place in central London during lockdown.

Read more: Leigh-Anne Pinnock tells of shock after being 'verbally abused' in supermarket

And she recently appeared on Channel 4 racism documentary The Talk, in which she revealed she was passed a note at school that listed her nationality as “jungle”.

Andre Gray and Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix pose for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Leigh-Anne Pinnock and her footballer fiance Andre Gray. (AP)

She said: “My heart just dropped. I was nine years old and I knew it was racism. I was distraught.”

Pinnock was raised in Buckinghamshire and is of Barbadian and Jamaican ancestry.

She rose to fame after competing in TV talent show The X Factor in 2011 and being put into girlband Little Mix during the audition process, along with Jade Thirwell, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson. The band went on to win the show and have released five albums and had four number one singles in the UK charts.

Pinnock recently announced her engagement to 28-year-old footballer Andre Gray, who plays for Watford FC in the English Premier League.

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