‘Straight Outta Compton’ Film Originally Included Dr. Dre’s Assault on Dee Barnes
Straight Outta Compton had a successful opening weekend and remains the topic of discussion nearly a week after its release. The film recounts the story of iconic rap collective N.W.A, divulging at times into the personal lives of its members. While many have praised the movie, others have criticized the film for omitting certain stories. One of these is Dr. Dre's famous attack on hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes, who recently called out the film for not addressing Dre's domestic violence incidents. At a pre-release screening of the picture, director F. Gary Gray addressed some of the film’s omissions, particularly the altercation with Barnes.
The L.A.Times obtained a copy of writer Jonathan Herman’s original script and it revealed that the incident was originally included in Straight Outta Compton:
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 sh*t 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 f*ck. 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 later says that the original editor's cut was over three hours, so it was important to make omissions in order to stay true to the movie's goal of sharing N.W.A's story. In the clip above, Gray tells the audience, "We had to make sure to serve the narrative. The narrative was about N.W.A. It wasn’t about a lot of side stories…We had to focus on the stories that were pertinent to our main characters." Other stories that were not told include Dr. Dre getting shot in the leg four times, his house setting afire during a party, the fight that led to his brother's death and Dre's alleged violence against women, most notably his ex-girlfriend Michel'e.