Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dee Barnes: Dr. Dre and F. Gary Gray ‘Don’t Respect Women’

via Gawker
Dee Barnes via Gawker

*Since the release of the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” which has earned nearly $60 million at the U.S. box office, much talk has been focused on the women who were not only lyrically assaulted by the notorious west coast rappers, but also physically attacked by the hands of rapper/producer Dr. Dre.

Dre’s alleged hatred of women is not depicted in the film, and when questioned about this glaring omission of the truth, director F. Gary Gray said the abuse victims were “side stories” that distracted from the narrative.

F. Gary’s comment is concerning until you realize that his relationship and loyalty to Dre goes back to when the director himself was a budding filmmaker in Hollywood. As revealed by one of Dre’s abuse victims, Dee Barnes, Gray was behind the camera to film the moment that launched Dre’s attack on Barnes.

F. Gary Gray - Image via Gawker
F. Gary Gray – Image via Gawker

As Gawker reports, on January 27, 1991, at a record-release party for the rap duo Bytches With Problems in Hollywood, Dr. Dre brutally attacked Dee Barnes, the host of a popular hip hop music show called “Pump It Up!” Dre was reportedly angry about a segment she hosted that focused on N.W.A., and concluded with a clip of Ice Cube, who had recently left the group, insulting his former colleagues.

Barnes said Dre attempted to throw her down a flight of stairs, slammed her head against a wall, kicked her, and stomped on her fingers. Dre later told Rolling Stone, “It ain’t no big thing – I just threw her through a door.” He pleaded no contest to assault charges, and he and Barnes’s settled a civil suit out of court years later, of which she said:

“There’s a myth that I was paid so well by the settlement I received from Dre that I’d never have to work again. People think I was paid millions, when in reality, I didn’t even get a million.”

Dre’s attack on Barnes caused her to be Blacklisted in Hollywood, unable to pursue her passion for journalism. She said that since the attack she has maintained a living through various 9-5 jobs.

“Nobody wants to work with me. They don’t want to affect their relationship with Dre. I auditioned for the part that eventually went to Kimberly Elise in Set It Off. Gary was the director. This was long after Pump it Up!, and I nailed the audition. Gary came out and said, “I can’t give you the part.” I asked him why, and he said, “‘Cause I’m casting Dre as Black Sam.” My heart didn’t sink, I didn’t get emotional; I was just numb.”

Barnes agreed to watch “Straight Outta Compton,” and reflect on it for Gawker, saying, “It’s easy for them to be dismissive of women, because they don’t respect most women.”

Gary has been reluctant to address N.W.A.’s Misogynoir because, as Barnes states, then he’d have to explain his part in history.

“Gary was the one holding the camera during that fateful interview with Ice Cube, which was filmed on the set of (the film) “Boyz N the Hood.” I was there to interview the rapper Yo Yo.  Cube went into a trailer to talk to Gary and Pump It Up! producer Jeff Shore. I saw as he exited that Cube’s mood had changed. Either they told him something or showed him the N.W.A. footage we had shot a few weeks earlier. What ended up airing was squeaky clean compared to the raw footage. N.W.A. were chewing Cube up and spitting him out.

Right after we shot a now-angry Cube and they shouted, “Cut!” one of the producers said, “We’re going to put that in.” I said, “Hell no.” I wasn’t even thinking about being attacked at the time, I was just afraid that they were going to shoot each other. I didn’t want to be part of that.”

You can read the full Gawker article here.  Barnes is currently writing her memoir, “Music, Myth, and Misogyny: Memoirs of a Female MC.” You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



  1. Yeah….”thaaaaaat’s” it! “Show yo luuuuuv”, with all this hate! SES! And?….WTF did you wait til they were crackin with this new joint, b4 you came with this old shyt?! And so…you didn’t get a gig & its “THEIR” fault??!! (Sneezin… “no talent BS”) Look…everybody has dirt ‘on dey White suit (including YO jelly ass!) So…relax, reflect, realize then…..STFU!

  2. Yes ,no one is perfect, but she didn’t just wait until the film came up to bring up ol’ stuff. She spoke of the abuse quite a bit shortly after it happened and years after when she was asked about it. I remember reading about her talking about the situation as recently as 1-2 years ago. I don’t think she is bringing up ol’ stuff. Now, that the movie is coming out, perhaps she wants to bring attention to the fact that the abuse wasn’t mentioned and how that is a travesty, which it is.

    Cosby accusers are bringing up ol’ stuff and no one is saying what happened to them is too old, it doesn’t matter or they should just be quiet (and NO, I am NOT comparing what Dre did to Cosby’s actions. They were totally different. I am just using your reaction to Dee Barnes as a point of comparison in terms of people’s reaction to Cosby, especially after the 2005 deposition hit the news media). What happened to Dee was traumatizing and life changing. While she can’t blame anyone for her lack of success, she certainly has a right to talk about it whenever and however she wants to.

    • I do remember her speaking ‘on this subject…back in the day. But blaming others for what “you” can’t deliver in your auditions/spawning this “conspiracy of blackballin her, just b/c she couldn’t “get ‘on”??? (I feel another “sneeze” commin!…..uummmmm “BS”!!!, ah that’s better!) But I guess using their “present day high profile” is what one is supPOSE to do, when tryin to get attention. So…”touché” ‘on dat one dare!? But….there are a PLETHORA of Cosby accusers AND facts against him & his innocence, vs. juuuuust “huh” ‘on this initiative” So…’on ” dat one”?…..nnnnnnNO STARS!!!! ?

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