Dr. Dre has apologized for his past violence towards women after three women have come forward and said that Straight Outta Compton glossed over Dr. Dre’s violent past with women. The NWA biopic has been a box office smash to date, bringing in over $80 million since its release on August 14, but has come under fire recently for its slant in how Dr. Dre treats women in the film.
So far, journalist Dee Barnes, Dr. Dre’s ex-fiancée, Michel’le Toussaint, and rapper Tairrie B have criticized the film for saying it completely neglects or glosses over how Dr. Dre treats women. Dr. Dre sat in the producer’s chair for Straight Outta Compton, and has since issued a statement in which he apologizes for his past actions.
“I apologize to the women I’ve hurt,” he said. “I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
He said in the statement that he was no longer the young man, lacking structure and drinking too much, and that would appear to be the truth. Dr. Dre is now married with children and is behind the ultra-popular “Beats by Dr. Dre” line of electronic accessories. He remains a consultant for the Beats line for Apple, who purchased Beats.
The backlash occurred, though, when Barnes wrote an essay for Gawker that critically panned Straight Outta Compton for rewriting history to an extent by not acknowledging Dr. Dre’s violent past. Barnes, Tairrie B and Toussaint have all been active on Twitter, criticizing the flick. In Barnes’ case, her essay, called “Here’s What’s Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up,” has garnered her some attention from literary agents via Twitter. Others have lauded her for speaking up about the assault and referenced what the assault may have cost her.
“Being that Dr Dre has been so dismissive of his past violent behavior towards women, I’m glad to see he is finally addressing the assaults. That said, I think it would have had a greater impact, had he mentioned the women he attacked by name, especially Dee Barnes. It took a lot of courage for her to tell her story and relive the events in such horrific detail 25 years later. I applaud her for this, as do many. Had the public not been so vocal in questioning why these assaults were not referenced in Straight Outta Compton, this part of the story would have continued to remain in the dark along with the others. I understand there are time constraints when making a film but when doing a biopic (of this nature in particular) the good, the bad and the ugly are all part of the history. Straight Outta Compton was directed by F Gary Gray, who was the original cameraman on both TV interviews that lead (sic) to the attack on Dee not to mention the fact that the film’s co-producers, Dr Dre & Ice Cube were the main catalysts behind it. As a group, NWA were very vocal about their feelings on it back in the day so there was a direct correlation. This should not have been ignored.”
Michel’le Toussaint, who has a grown son with Dr. Dre, said she understood why her character was virtually eliminated from Straight Outta Compton.
“Why would [Dre] put me in it? I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up,” she said in an interview with Vlad TV.
Apple continues to support Dr. Dre, in spite of his admission of having hurt women in the past. The tech giant says that they believe Dr. Dre’s sincerity in wanting to put the past in the past.
“Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago,” the company said in a statement. “We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.”
[Photo by Elsa / Getty Images]