Outrage Watch: Dee Barnes puts Dr. Dre’s belated ‘apology’ in context

08.21.15 2 years ago

Welcome to Outrage Watch, HitFix's semi-regular rundown of entertainment-related kerfuffles. Not anxious enough already? Get your fix of righteous indignation below, and stay posted for outrage updates throughout the week.

25 years after allegedly assaulting multiple women including former “Pump It Up” host Dee Barnes, ex-girlfriend and collaborator Michel'le and rapper/singer Tairrie B, Dr. Dre has apologized for his past misdeeds in a statement to the New York Times:

“In a sign that the uproar was threatening not only his reputation but also his business dealings, Dr. Dre, who has previously spoken dismissively or vaguely about the allegations, which are decades old, confronted them on Friday in a statement to The New York Times. While he did not address each allegation individually, he said: 'Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I”ve been married for 19 years and every day I”m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I”m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.'

“He added: 'I apologize to the women I”ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.'”

The Times also printed a statement on the controversy from Apple, Inc., which got into business with Dre after purchasing the rapper's Beats Electronics in a $3 billion deal last year:

“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. 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.”

Critics of the blockbuster N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” which debuted to a whopping $60.2 million at the North American box-office in its opening weekend, have charged the film with whitewashing Dre's history of violence against women by failing to depict the assaults mentioned above. Director F. Gary Gray later defended the choice during a Q&A about the film, stating that the incidents were “side stories” in the scheme of the main narrative:

“We had to focus on the story that was pertinent to our main characters,” Gray told Ebony Editor-in-Chief Kierna Mayo when she directly asked him why the assaults were left out of the film. “The original editor”s cut was three hours and 30 minutes long, so we couldn”t get everything in the movie. We had to make sure we served the narrative. The narrative was about N.W.A. It wasn”t about side stories… [Ice] Cube always said it: 'You can make five different N.W.A. movies.' We made the one we wanted to make.”

The L.A. Times later reported that the Barnes assault was, in fact, included in an earlier version of Jonathan Herman's script:

“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 [expletive] 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 [expletive]. 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.'”

Barnes, who wrote a scathing op-ed for Gawker earlier this week after screening the film for the first time, hasn't directly commented on Dre's apology aside from the following responses on Twitter, one of which confirms that Dre never reached out with a personal apology (note also how she puts the word “Apology” in “quotes”):

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Otherwise, the retweets on her official Twitter indicate pretty clearly where she stands:

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