*While “Straight Outta Compton” opened No. 1 at the box office over the weekend by pulling in $60.2 million, the positive debut has been shrouded in criticism for ignoring instances of Dr. Dre’s physical assault on women.
As we previously reported, Gawker posted an interview with Dee Barns in which she said Dr. Dre and the film’s director F. Gary Gray “don’t respect women.” Barnes is the hip-hop journalist Dre is accused of beating the breaks off back in 1991 because he didn’t like the way she hosted an interview with Ice Cube on Fox’s popular hip-hop show “Pump It Up!”
In 1990, Barnes featured Ice Cube, who departed N.W.A over financial disputes, in a segment where he dissed his former group members. Ironically, the segment was filmed by F. Gary Gray. A year later at a record release party in Los Angeles, Dre angrily confronted Barnes about the segment because he believed she allowed Cube to disrespect his group.
“He picked me up by my hair and my ear and smashed my face and body into the wall,” Barnes said in a July 1991 report in The Times. “Next thing I know, I’m down on the ground and he’s kicking me in the ribs and stamping on my fingers. I ran into the women’s bathroom to hide, but he burst through the door and started bashing me in the back of the head.”
Dre later pleaded no contest and was given probation. Eazy-E told a rap publication, “Yeah, b*tch had it coming” with other members saying in an interview that she deserved (the beatdown) for trying to “play” them on national television by allowing Cube to make his comment on her show, the LA Times reports.
The irony of course is that Ice Cube and Dr. Dre obviously patched up their differences and went on to executive produce “Straight Outta Compton.”
Meanwhile, months after the attack, Dre told Rolling Stone:
“I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing — I just threw her through a door.”
Dre’s ex-girlfriend, R&B singer Michel’le, has been vocal about the abuse she suffered as Dre’s lover and artist. She has children with both Dre and his former business partner Suge Knight.
Despite being in a relationship with Dre for years, and being a platinum act on Eazy’s Ruthless Records, Michel’le was only briefly mentioned in the film. In a recent interview with DJ Vlad, the singer shared her view on why she thought the film overlooked her moments with Dre.
“Why would Dre put me in it? I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up,” she said bluntly. “My part has no value to, probably, what they really want to talk about … unless they want to talk.”
While there is no mention of Barnes in the film, her incident with Dre was included in an earlier version of Jonathan Herman’s screenplay for “Straight Outta Compton.”
Via the LA Times:
In the scene, Dre, “eyes glazed, drunk, with an edge of nastiness, contempt” (per noted from the script) spots Barnes at the party and approaches her.
“Saw that [expletive] you did with Cube. Really had you under his spell, huh? Ate up everything he said. Let him diss us. Sell us out.”
“I just let him tell his story,” Barnes’ character retorts, “That’s what I do. It’s my job.”
“I thought we were cool, you and me,” Dre fires back. “But you don’t give a [expletive]. You just wanna laugh at N.W.A, make us all look like fools.”
The conversation escalates, Barnes throws her drink in Dre’s face before he attacks her “flinging her around like a rag-doll, while she screams, cries, begs for him to stop.”
F. Gary Gray has said that he, Dre and Cube made the decision to omit a number of narratives, including Dre being shot four times, because they wanted to focus tightly on the group.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Dre addressed his history of domestic violence, admitting that he made some: “fu*king horrible mistakes” in his life.