Melissa Barrera, one of the new stars of the rebooted Scream franchise, has reportedly been dropped from the series over some posts she made on social media about what’s happening in the Israel-Palestine conflict. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she supposedly wrote that “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp” on her Instagram stories (which are automatically deleted eventually by the platform). THR says the post also added, “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.”
After this story broke, Scream production company Spyglass shared a statement with Variety suggesting that Barrera’s comments were “hate speech.” Here’s the company statement:
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.
The A.V. Club reached out to a publicist for Barrera who declined to comment, and according to that Variety article, Barrera is no longer working with a publicist at all (though “it is unclear who dropped whom or when the relationship ended”). Barrera’s Instagram page no longer appears to have the aforementioned statement, but it does include a number of posts advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Barrera joined Scream with the surprise-hit 2022 reboot as Sam Carpenter, becoming the franchise’s new co-lead alongside Jenna Ortega (playing her sister Tera). Scream VI just came out earlier this year, setting box office records for the franchise with its $43 million debut in March. Happy Death Day’s Christopher Landon is taking over for Scream VII, and THR says that Spyglass is “expected to recalibrate plans” for the franchise going forward now that Barrera will no longer be involved.
Update 1 (11/21/23): Scream VII director Christopher Landon has shared a brief statement on Twitter, saying: “Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.” In addition to clarifying that it was not his choice to fire Barrera, the post also seems like a clear confirmation that this is true.
Update 2 (11/21/23): The original story has been updated to include a statement from Spyglass Media Group.