Yesha Callahan

Looks Like Dee Barnes’ Assault Was In the Original ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Script


As Straight Outta Compton continues racking up millions at the box office, the film is not without its problems.

While the movie has been hailed as “powerful” and “moving” by many, including of Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, some have questioned why N.W.A’s rampant misogyny, and the vicious 1991 assault of hip hop journalist Dee Barnes, didn’t make it into the film.

When questioned about the omissions, Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray said he didn’t want to include a “side story,” but instead “focus on the story that was pertinent to our main characters.”

A photo posted by Dee Barnes (@sista_dee_barnes) on

But apparently a scene describing Barnes’ assault was in the original Straight Outta Compton script

Gerrick Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Barnes’ run-in with Dre, however, was included in an earlier version of Jonathan Herman’s screenplay for the film.

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.”

It’s one of a handful of scenes that doesn’t make it into the film. Director F. Gary Gray has said the original script was a lengthy 150 pages and the film’s original cut was three and a half hours long.

While Herman’s screenplay takes liberties with the truth (i.e. Barnes didn’t attack Dre), it would have been interesting to see how the film dealt with the vicious assault. Sadly, though, Gray considered it a “side story” and didn’t pursue it.

Thankfully, Barnes–and Dr. Dre’s other victims–are speaking out for themselves.

  1. August 20, 2015 - Reply

    We are all glad that Dee Barnes and others are courageously telling the truth. The movie is a total whitewash as plain as day. The classification of a brutal beating of a black woman as a “side issue” by director F. Gary Gray is a disgrace. There are Brothers and Sisters who are rightfully exposing the counterrevolutionary nature of the NWA group. When NWA came about, corporate executives suppressed more of progressive, conscious music. Likewise, members of NWA are responsible for spewing anti-black lyrics filled with the glamorization rape, assault, self-hatred, and murder. We are further inspired by the courage and the strength of Dee Barnes and Michel’le. It doesn’t’ matter how much money that the disgraceful film has made. We still won’t respect that movie. NWA is not the only ones showing this garbage. There are other artists and other entities who make money off the suffering of black people. I’m glad that more and more people are taking a stand and not looking at this film. We will stand up for what is right and fight against misogynoir all day and every day straight up.

    • August 20, 2015 - Reply

      I have not seen it and plan NOT to see it. I stand in solidarity with the Black Woman’s struggle to be acknowledged, loved and respected by Black men and to stand by their SIDE, not in front or in back of them. Dr. Dre couldn’t get a lick a my money.

      • August 20, 2015 - Reply


        Teach Sister.

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