‘Straight Outta Compton’ Director Explains Omission Of Dr. Dre Violence Against Women
In its opening weekend, the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton recorded $60.2 million in box office receipts. The film has proven to be wildly popular with fans of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and other members and has generated a great deal of controversy on many fronts.
Footage of accused murderer Suge Knight, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, has resurfaced. In the footage, Knight can be seen joking about Eazy-E’s death while smoking a cigar with his feet propped on a footstool. Ice Cube and Dr. Dre have been named in a wrongful death suit related to the alleged murder — something both Ice Cube and Dre want out of.
Many feel the film paints a conveniently misogyny-free characterization of Dr. Dre. Dre has been accused of assaulting fellow rapper and journalist Dee Barnes in 1991. Dr. Dre was also accused of assaulting then-wife Michel’le Toussaint, as well as firing a gun at her.
In a video posted to YouTube by Real Talk NY, an audience member can be heard asking Director F. Gary Gray about Dr. Dre.
“There were many incidents [involving Dre], throughout the early nineties, that were devastating to black women. And one of those moments was that Dee Barnes moment [referring to the Dre assault], and to me that was like a glaring omission… I’m curious… What was the decision? Why the omission? And has there been any other thought about it?”
Please note the video contains NSFW language.
In response, Gray defended his decision to omit Dre’s violence.
“I get what you’re saying [about Dre] and I appreciate that, but we had to focus on the story that was pertinent to our main characters…. we could have made five NWA movies. We made the one we wanted to make.”
Gray points to the rap authored by Easy-E entitled “Real Motherf***ing G’s“ — which was aimed specifically at Dre — as well as “Dre Day” as examples of other worthy stories, which, due to time constraints, didn’t make it into the film. The moderator of the discussion points out, “It does make sense though, because the incident with Dre and Dee, has nothing to do with Cube, Eazy, Ren – you know.”
In a Rolling Stone interview, Dr. Dre addressed the accusations. Dre was quoted, “Those are some of the things that I would like to take back… But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.”
Dre went on to address his public image, “I have social anxiety. I don’t like being in the spotlight.” The release of Straight Outta Compton was accompanied by a new album, the first in over a decade from Dre, simply entitled Compton. The new Dr. Dre album sold 294,600 copies in the United States in its first week.
[Dr. Dre Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]