Dee Barnes pens another piece for Gawker following Dr. Dre's apology to the women he's abused.
After Dee Barnes' essay addressing the exclusion of her assault from Straight Outta Compton, Dr. Dre issued an apology, making it out to "the women I've hurt". As a man with many business ties, it was hard to tell how much of the statement was his own feelings, and how much was an attempt to save face with Apple and the like.
Barnes has addressed these concerns in a new letter, admitting the rapper has matured, but not being quick to forgive him.
I hope he meant it. I hope he represents these words in his life. I hope that after all these years, he really is a changed man.
Dr. Dre has matured, and the women he's hurt, including myself, have endured. I’m proud to be able to say goodbye to the man who at one point was straight outta fucks to give, as he consistently dismissed and disrespected any mention of his assault history. Goodbye to the man who didn’t deny it and even bragged, “I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing–I just threw her through a door.”
Barnes then wondered who might be behind the statement, suggesting it could be Apple or Universal urging him to apologize.
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 closes with a more general criticism of the excuses made for artists who have violent histories, and a call to support the victims (who often happen to be black women) in these cases.
This is bigger than me, and bigger than hip-hop. This is about respect and awareness. As a result of speaking on my personal experience with violence, I have been vilified. 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. In the past, great art was enough to exalt men of their bad behavior, but in 2015 it’s no longer the case. Survivors have a right and an obligation to speak up (#NoSilenceOnDomesticViolence). We are too loud, too correct, too numerous to be ignored.
You can read the full piece at Gawker.