Last week, Dr. Dre formally apologized to “the women I’ve hurt.” Although he didn’t mention any of them by name, it is known Dre beat up TV personality Dee Barnes and was physically abusive to his ex Michel’le.
They’ve both spoke on Dre’s apology, and neither was very impressed by it.
“I don’t really think it’s a sincere apology,” Michel’le said in an interview with 5Live in England. “I didn’t ask for a public apology and I think if he is going to apologize he should do it individually,” she continued. “To just group us like we are nothing and nobody – I just don’t think it’s sincere. Treat us like we have names.”
Barnes penned her response in Gawker. She says she hopes Dre is sincere, but that she can’t get over his history of joking about his assault on her. (In the essay, she tells the well-worn story of Dre falling over laughing when he first heard a demo version of the Eminem song ‘Guilty Conscience’, which jokes about his violent incident with Barnes.)
The hypocrisy of it all is appalling. 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,” she ends her essay with.
What do you think? Do they have points?