The director behind NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton has defended his decision to ignore Dr Dre's history of violence against women. Director F Gary Gray said the abuse, including a 1991 attack on journalist Dee Barnes where Dre slammed her against a wall and kicked her in the ribs, was excluded from the movie because "it didn't serve the narrative".
"We couldn't get everything into the movie," he said. "What we had to do was make sure we served the narrative, and that narrative was about NWA. It wasn't about a lot of side stories. We had to focus on the story that was pertinent to our main characters."
The film faced heavily criticism, not least from Barnes herself, who haas said that it failed to highlight a history of abuse faced by woman at the hands of Dre.
"The truth is too ugly for a general audience. I didn't want to see a depiction of me getting beat up, just like I didn't want to see a depiction of Dre beating up Michel'le, his one-time girlfriend who recently summed up their relationship this way: 'I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up'," she wrote on Gawker.
"The biggest problem with Straight Outta Compton is that it ignores several of NWA's own harsh realities," she concludes. "That's not gangsta, it's not personal, it's just business. Try as they might, too much of NWA's story ain't that kinda shit you can sweep under no rug."
Ahead of the film's premier Dre, real name Andre Young, expressed his remorse at his actions. "I made some f*cking horrible mistakes in my life. I was young, f*cking stupid," the Chronic hit maker said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
He added: "I would say all the allegations aren't true – some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really f*cked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there's no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again."
Straight Outta Compton hits UK cinemas on 28th August.