The main knock against Straight Outta Compton, the new N.W.A biopic that’s become a runaway hit, is the way it whitewashes the histories of the group’s members, especially Dr. Dre, who was an executive producer on the movie and who has a well-documented history of beating up women. In particular, the movie never addresses Dre’s 1991 assault on Dee Barnes, the rap journalist and Pump It Up! TV host. In a powerful new Gawker piece, Barnes describes many of the things that the movie left out, even revealing that Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray was a former Pump It Up! cameraman who was behind the camera for the interview when Ice Cube insulted his former N.W.A comrades, the moment that enraged Dre enough to attack Barnes. And now, we’re finding out that the Barnes attack actually was in an early version of the script.
The Los Angeles times reports that there’s a scene in screenwriter Jonathan Herman’s original script that depicts the assault. It has Dre saying, “Saw that shit you did with Cube. Really had you under his spell, huh? Ate up everything he said. Let him diss us. Sell us out” before “flinging her around like a rag-doll, while she screams, cries, begs for him to stop.”
The movie also omits scenes like Dre getting shot four times in the leg and his house burning down during a pool party. Gray has said that a lot was left out of the movie for length and because he wanted it to be more focused. In a Rolling Stone interview earlier this month, Dre spoke a bit about the Barnes attack, saying, “I made some fucking horrible mistakes.”