Some critics have started calling out forthcoming N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” for omitting Dr. Dre's assault of MTV personality Dee Barnes in 1991.
During a Q&A with the “Compton” talent at a screening in New York this week, director F. Gary Gray said that the film didn't have time to address “side stories,” according to Ebony magazine.
“We had to focus on the story that was pertinent to our main characters,” Gray responded. “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 crime occurred during a time of high visibility for the group, and intersected with a big promotional moment for Ice Cube, who had just exited N.W.A. and began a very public feud with the crew. You can read more about the details surrounding the assault on Barnes' here.
Dr. Dre plead no contest to the Barnes assault in 1992; he was fined, sentenced to community service and put on probation. Dre — real name Andre Young — also plead guilty to battery of a police officer that same year. In 2013, singer and Dre's ex-girlfriend Michel'le alleged the producer/rapper used to beat her when they were dating in the '90s, though she never brought any legal action against him.
“Straight Outta Compton” is in theaters on Aug. 14.