Melissa Barrera, known for her role in the Scream franchise, has addressed her termination from Scream VII due to sharing posts that the production company deemed as antisemitic. The actress stated that she denounces both antisemitism and Islamophobia but will not stop speaking out about the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Barrera, known for her roles in the fifth and sixth Scream movies and slated to appear in the upcoming seventh installment, has been vocal in her support of Palestine on various social media platforms. She has labeled Israel’s actions as “genocide” and criticized their use of force against innocent Palestinian civilians, including women and children, under the guise of targeting Hamas.
“The media in the West often presents a biased portrayal, only showing the perspective of Israel. I leave it to you to determine why this occurs,” she stated on October 22nd. Additionally, she emphasized, “What we need is not more animosity, but rather an end to Islamophobia and antisemitism.”
On Tuesday, Barrera was terminated from her role in Scream VII by the production company Spyglass Media. Variety reported that the reason for her dismissal was due to certain posts on her social media that were perceived as being anti-Semitic.
A representative from Spyglass stated to Variety that they do not condone any form of antisemitism or hate speech, including false mentions of genocide, ethnic cleansing, or distortion of the Holocaust. The posts in question have not been confirmed by The Guardian.
In a now-deleted message to X on Tuesday, Christopher Landon, director of Scream VII, stated: “I want to clarify that everything is not going well. Please refrain from shouting. I did not have control over this decision.”
Barrera released a statement on Instagram stories on Wednesday, expressing condemnation towards antisemitism and Islamophobia. They also denounced any form of hate or discrimination towards any group of individuals.
“As a Latina and proud Mexicana, I am aware of the responsibility that comes with having a platform. I am privileged to have a voice that can be heard, and I have made an effort to use it to bring attention to important issues and to speak out for those who are in need,” she stated.
Each individual on this planet is entitled to the same basic human rights, respect, and the freedom to live their life as they choose. I strongly believe that a person’s identity should not be defined by their leaders, and that no government or authority should be immune to criticism.
I constantly pray for an end to loss of life, aggression, and the ability for all to peacefully coexist. I will persist in speaking up for those in need and promoting peace, safety, human rights, and freedom. Staying silent is not an option for me.
On Wednesday, the production of Scream VII encountered more complications as Jenna Ortega, who plays alongside Barrera, had to withdraw from the movie due to a scheduling conflict with the second season of her Netflix series. Ortega and Barrera previously appeared together in the last two Scream films as Tara and Sam Carpenter, respectively.
Barrera is the most recent individual in Hollywood to face criticism for their statements and behaviors regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Susan Sarandon was released from the Hollywood talent agency UTA on Tuesday following her participation in a pro-Palestine rally. The award-winning actress received backlash for her statement, “There are many individuals currently feeling afraid to identify as Jewish, and they are beginning to understand the experiences of being Muslim in this nation.”
In the previous month, Maha Dakhil, a leader in the film division of Hollywood agency CAA, stepped down from the agency’s board following criticism of her Instagram posts. The posts included the statement: “What is more devastating than witnessing genocide? Denying that genocide is taking place.” Playwright Aaron Sorkin then declared he was also departing CAA, stating “Maha is not anti-Semitic, she simply holds a different viewpoint.”
Dakhil later publicly expressed remorse, stating that she made a mistake in reposting on her Instagram account using offensive language. She apologized for the harm her actions caused.