UPDATE (11/23/23, 1:30 p.m. ET): A day after she was fired from Scream 7, Melissa released a statement on her Instagram Story. “First and foremost I condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” her statement began. “I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people. As a Latina, a proud Mexicana, I feel the responsibility of having a platform that allows me the privilege of being heard, and therefore I have tried to use it to raise awareness about issues I care about and to lend my voice to those in need.”
She added, “Every person on this earth — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status — deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom. I believe a group of people are NOT their leadership, and that no governing body should be above criticism. I pray day and night for no more deaths, for no more violence, and for peaceful co-existence. I will continue to speak out for those that need it most and continue to advocate for peace and safety, for human rights and freedom. Silence is not an option for me.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Melissa Barrera has reportedly been fired from the upcoming Scream franchise installment, Scream VII, after sharing several social media posts about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The 33-year-old actress was dropped from the project on November 21, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The outlet reported that one of Barrera’s recent Instagram Stories included a message that read, “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp. Cornering everyone together, with no where to go, no electricity no water … People have learnt nothing from our histories. And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING.”
Barrera starred in 2022’s Scream and 2023’s Scream VI as the lead character, Samantha Carpenter, alongside co-star and Wednesday actress, Jenna Ortega. The two portrayed sisters and had to fend off Ghostface in the two films. Original franchise heroine Neve Campbell left Scream VI due to a salary dispute with the studio, and Barrera and Ortega’s characters took the lead alongside Courteney Cox.
Spyglass — the company behind the film — released a statement to Variety explaining their decision to cut ties with Barrera. The outlet noted that she was not fired for showing support for Palestine, but rather, that her social media posts were interpreted as antisemitic.
“Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech,” a Spyglass spokesperson said.
Scream VI ended with Barrera and Ortega’s characters defeating the three villains who were behind the Ghostface mask — their roommate, Quinn, their friend Ethan, and Detective Bailey. Since Samantha’s late father is Billy Loomis — the original Ghostface — fans watched her character experience delusions, where she would see and hear him urge her to embrace her violent side.
At the end of the film, fans saw Sam holding her late father’s actual mask that he used in the 1990s. However, she drops it and walks away with Tara into the distance following the carnage they just faced.
Scream was not Barrera’s breakout role in the business, but it became one of her most noteworthy performances. She previously starred in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s film adaptation of his Broadway play, In the Heights, playing the character Vanessa.