Melissa Barrera, a lead actor in the Scream franchise, has addressed her dismissal from Scream VII due to sharing posts that the film’s production company deemed as having antisemitic implications. Barrera stated that she denounces antisemitism and Islamophobia, but will not stop speaking out on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
Barrera, who starred in the fifth and sixth Scream films and was set to star in the forthcoming seventh instalment, has been outspoken in support of Palestine on social media, where she has described Israel as committing “genocide” and “brutally killing innocent Palestinians, mothers and children, under the pretence of destroying Hamas”.
The writer stated on October 22nd that Western media only presents the perspective of Israel. They left it to the reader to figure out the reason behind this. The writer also emphasized the importance of rejecting hate, including Islamophobia and antisemitism.
Barrera was dismissed from her role in Scream VII by production company Spyglass Media on Tuesday. Variety reports that this was a result of some of her social media posts, which were perceived as antisemitic.
A spokesperson from Spyglass stated to Variety that they have a strict policy against antisemitism and promoting hate, including mentioning genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion, or any other forms of hate speech. The Guardian has not yet verified the specific posts that Spyglass was addressing.
Christopher Landon, the director of Scream VII, posted a now-deleted message to X on Tuesday stating, “My statement is this: Everything is terrible. Please stop shouting. I did not make this decision.”
Barrera posted a statement on Instagram stories on Wednesday, expressing condemnation towards antisemitism and Islamophobia. They also denounced any form of hate or discrimination targeting any group of individuals.
As a proud Mexicana and Latina, I understand the importance of having a platform where my voice can be heard. I have made an effort to use this platform to bring attention to important issues and speak up for those in need.
“I firmly believe that every individual on this planet is entitled to fair treatment, respect, and liberty. I do not subscribe to the notion that a group of people is defined by their leaders, and I strongly believe that no governing authority should be exempt from scrutiny.”
I constantly pray for an end to loss of life, to aggression, and for harmonious coexistence. I will persist in speaking up for those who are in need, and fighting for peace, security, human rights, and liberty. Remaining silent is not an option for me.
The production of Scream VII encountered more issues on Wednesday when Jenna Ortega, who stars alongside Barrera, backed out of the film due to a scheduling conflict with the second season of her Netflix show. Ortega and Barrera played sisters Tara and Sam Carpenter in the previous two Scream movies.
Barrera, a Hollywood figure, is facing criticism for their recent social media content and behavior regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Susan Sarandon, an Academy Award-winning actress, was released from the talent agency UTA on Tuesday following her participation in a pro-Palestine protest. Her remarks about the current climate of fear for Jewish individuals and the experience of being a Muslim in America received backlash.
In the previous month, Maha Dakhil, one of the co-heads of film at the Hollywood agency CAA, stepped down from the agency’s board following criticism for her Instagram posts. The posts included the statement, “What’s more tragic than witnessing genocide? Witnessing the refusal to acknowledge its occurrence.” Playwright Aaron Sorkin later declared his departure from CAA, stating that “Maha is not an anti-Semite, she simply holds an incorrect belief.”
Dakhil released a statement expressing remorse. She admitted to making an error by reposting a hurtful message on Instagram. She sincerely apologized for any harm she may have caused.