Last week’s N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” scored a huge box-office opening and solid reviews from the critics, and yet the film has come under fire for one glaring omission – that of Dr. Dre’s physical attack of hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes in 1991.
It turns out the scene was originally going to be a part of the film. The Los Angeles Times reports that a draft of Jonathan Herman’s screenplay did include the assault and director F. Gary Gray previously admitted it was taken out along with a bunch of other footage to keep the runtime to under three hours.
The paper has a breakdown of the scene in which Dr. Dre approaches Dee Barnes and a heated conversation then sees her throwing a drink in his face. He attacks her in a way described as “flinging her around like a rag-doll, while she screams, cries, begs for him to stop.”
Barnes herself has written an essay on the incident for Gawker following the film’s notable lack of reference to the attack.
It wasn’t the only element cut from the script for time as other moments like Dre being shot four times in the leg, his house catching fire during a wild pool party, and a graphic flashback of his younger brother in the fight that claimed his life were all excised.