Former hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes and and singer Michel’le have finally received a response, and apology, from Dr. Dre after sharing their stories of past abuse in light of the N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton.
Is this is a PR move by Universal, which released Straight Outta Compton? After all, the film just crossed the $100 million mark its second weekend in theaters. Is it damage control by Apple, which can no longer ignore that if you take the “Beats by Dre” logo and remove the “S,” you get a double entendre describing several woman he just apologized to? Is Dre himself really remorseful or just saving face? To me, the answers to these questions matter less than the fact that Dre stepped up and performed his social responsibility by finally taking accountability for his actions. Who cares why he apologized? The point is that he did.
She also talked about on her assault being left out of the movie, and her response to those who told her Straight Outta Compton was not just Dre’s movie:
I’ve also received harshly worded comments stating that the biopic is not the Dr. Dre story, it’s N.W.A.’s. But when other members of the group publicly condoned the assault, their confirmation made it officially an N.W.A. issue. Eazy E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella verbally bashed me after Dre did it violently. It was nothing short of character assassination.
As for why she’s speaking out now, she wrote:
“Women survivors of violence are expected neither to be seen nor heard, and the pressure increases when it involves celebrities. No one wants to see their heroes criticized. And if they are African American, the community at large becomes suspicious of an underlying motive to tear down a successful black man. Excusing pop culture icons from scrutiny over their history of violence against women because they are elevated to “hero” status is wrong on so many levels. Creating notable, brilliant art does not absolve you of your faults.”
Read Dee Barnes’ full response to Dre’s apology here. What are your thoughts?