“Straight Outta Compton,” the biopic on rap group N.W.A., has received critical acclaim and broken records at the box office during its opening weekend. But there’s a glaring omission from the movie that has led to some serious criticism of the film.
One of the most infamous moments in N.W.A. lore was Dr. Dre allegedly physically assaulting female hip-hop journalist Denise “Dee” Barnes.
In 1991, Barnes claims she was viciously beaten by then-N.W.A. rapper Dr. Dre on the floor of the woman’s bathroom of the Po Na Na Souk nightclub in Los Angeles.
Barnes says Dre was provoked by a recent segment which aired on her FOX show “Pump It Up!” in which Ice Cube, who had just left the group, trashed his former colleagues.
According to the LA Times, a version of the incident was included in an early draft of the screenplay for “Straight Outta Compton.”
Here’s a description of the scene from the Times piece:
In the scene, the fictional 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.”
This is one of numerous scenes that were never shot. Others included Dre being shot four times in the leg, his house catching on fire during a wild party, and a flashback of his younger brother in the fight that ended his life.
At a public Q&A, the film’s director F. Gary Grey addressed the omission of the Dee Barnes incident saying, “We couldn’t fit everything into the movie,” saying he chose stories that better “served the narrative.”
Barnes wrote about the incident not being in the movie for Gawker recently:
“[My attack] isn’t depicted in ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ but I don’t think it should have been, either,” she wrote. “The truth is too ugly for a general audience. But what should have been addressed is that it occurred.”
Barnes sued Dre for damages and the two settled out of court.
This is not the only incident. Dre’s former fiancée Michel’le told Vlad TV that he physically abused her, even “shooting at” her during an argument.
In a story for Rolling Stone recently, Dre admitted to being violent towards women in the past.
“I made some f—— horrible mistakes in my life,” he said.
“I was young, f—— stupid. I would say all the allegations aren’t true — some of them are.
“Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really f—— up.
“But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.”
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