Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage
Spyglass Media Group fired Scream franchise star Melissa Barrera from her leading role in the upcoming Scream 7, Deadline reported, after she posted support for Palestinian liberation and condemned Israel’s ongoing violence in Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attack in neighboring Israeli towns. Since October 14, Barrera has reposted hundreds of quotes, articles, tweets, videos, infographics, and news pieces to her Instagram Stories regarding the ongoing devastation in Gaza, including statements in her own words, saying, “I love my Jewish friends. I stand with you in these horrible times. I empathize with your fear and pain. No one deserves to be persecuted or attacked.” And “All Jewish people are NOT the Israeli Govt. Do not blame, or hate on, a whole group of people because of what some are doing. I stand with all those caught in the crossfire.”
In a statement provided to Variety on November 22, Spyglass Media Group called some of her reposts a violation of its “zero tolerance” policy against “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.”
Variety singles out one of her posts in particular, sharing an article in Jewish Currents magazine from October 13 titled “A Textbook Case of Genocide,” by Raz Segal, an Israeli professor and historian and Holocaust and genocide expert. In the article, he argues that Israel’s retaliatory actions in Gaza meet three of the UN Genocide Convention’s five acts that fall under its definition of genocide.
In a November 22 tweet, Scream 7 director Christopher Landon wrote, “This is my statement: Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make,” punctuated with a broken-heart emoji. He has since deleted the tweet.
Barrera made a statement on her Instagram stories in response to her firing, writing “silence is not an option for me.” She explicitly condemned Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as well. “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 wrote. “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.”
Barrera spoke to Rolling Stone about her exit from the Scream franchise, shortly after participating in a pro-Palestine protest at Sundance. “It was shocking,” she said. “I don’t even know what to say. I think everything that happened was very transparent, on both sides, and I know who I am, and I know that what I said always came from a place of love and a place of humanity and a place of human rights and a place of freedom for people, which shouldn’t be controversial. It shouldn’t be up for debate.” When asked about Jenna Ortega’s oddly-timed exit from Scream 7, and whether the Spyglass official version of events was “the whole story,” Barrera said “Listen, Jenna is a good egg. She’s a good person and we love each other. She would show up for me and I would show up for her no matter what.”
This story has been updated.