With the NWA biopic ‘Straight Outta Compton‘ doing so well in the box office, it’s also been getting a lot of attention for various proposed embellishments of the featured artists, the most prominent being a criticism about the movie not depicting Dr. Dre’s assault on music journalist Dee Barnes. However it’s now come to light that the attack originally was in the script, but it didn’t end up in the final version, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Dee Barnes was featured in a Gawker article on Wednesday expressing her frustration over the movie not showing the assault, as well as other women Dre beat up, saying “The biggest problem with ‘Straight Outta Compton‘ is that it ignores several of N.W.A.’s own harsh realities.” Although she did mention that she was somewhat glad that she didn’t have to watch the disturbing scene.
“I didn’t want to see a depiction of me getting beat up” she added. “What should have been addressed is that it occurred.”
The $60 million film initially featured a scene in the script that showed an intoxicated Dre launch the 1991 attack. It would have portrayed the young NWA member confront Barnes over a segment she did with his associate Ice Cube on her well-known hip-hop show “Pump it Up!”, saying “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.” to which she responds by saying that she only let him talk and tell his side of the story. The situation escalates and Dre accuses her of making NWA “look like fools.” Barnes ends up throwing a drink in his face, which sets him off as he begins attacking her, reportedly “flinging her around like a rag-doll” while she cries for help.
The cut has sparked some controversy online, with many people suggesting the movie didn’t tackle situations like Dre’s assault on Dee Barnes and the group’s conflict with Suge Knight for the purpose of making the artists look better, since they are still working in the entertainment industry and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre are in fact producers of the flick. Others have countered this idea, saying that the movie’s focus was on the music and the group’s establishment in the hip-hop movement rather than each member’s personal lives. It would have been quite difficult to cover every incident involving the group in a ~2 hour movie while maintaining a focused narrative.
Director F.Gary Gray answered a question about the omitted scene in an interview at the movie’s premier, saying “There’s so many things you can add and subtract. Cube always said it — you can make five different N.W.A. movies. We made the one we wanted to make.”