Melissa Barrera will no longer appear in the upcoming Scream sequel after production company Spyglass has decided to part ways with the actress following social media posts commentating on the Israel-Hamas War and characterizing Israel’s actions as genocide.
Barrera played a pivotal role in both 2022’s Scream and the franchise’s recently released sixth installment.
Melissa Barrera Fired From Scream
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Melissa Barrera took to her Instagram stories to express her views on the conflict, stating, “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp.”
She went on to elaborate on the dire conditions, claiming people were being cornered with no access to electricity or water.
The post also contained a strong condemnation, asserting, “THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING,” which was the statement that prompted Spyglass to take swift action, severing ties with the actress.
Spyglass Minces No Words
A spokesperson for Spyglass minced no words in their response as to why they fired Melissa Barrera, releasing a statement emphasizing the company’s unwavering stance against antisemitism and the incitement of hate in any form.
The statement explicitly mentioned their zero tolerance for false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion, or any content that crosses the line into hate speech.
Melissa Barrera Had A Big Role
While Melissa Barrera has made dozens of posts since the conflict between Hamas and Israel escalated on October 7, she has not made a public comment about leaving the Scream franchise or her feelings about being fired due to breaking Spyglass’s no-tolerance policy.
Melissa Barrera played a significant role in revitalizing the Scream franchise with her lead role as Sam Carpenter in the 2022 film, which earned an impressive $137.7 million globally.
She continued her involvement with the series in Scream VI, released in March of this year, which exceeded expectations by grossing over $168.9 million worldwide.
Christopher Landon, known for his work on Happy Death Day, will be taking over the directorial duties for Scream VII from the previously attached filmmakers Radio Silence.
Following Melissa Barrera’s departure, the filmmaker made a statement on X saying, “This is my statement: 💔 Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.”
While Melissa Barrera played a notable role in the last two released Scream films, her departure from the franchise comes at a convenient time for the studio as Scream VII had not begun filming.
The production is still in the early stages of development with Landon only announced as director this past August. Additionally, production was slowed due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike and the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike.
The incident involving Melissa Barrera comes on the heels of a similar controversy in which veteran actress Susan Sarandon was dropped by talent agency UTA following comments made at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York City on November 17.
As Spyglass recalibrates its plans for Scream VII in the aftermath of Melissa Barrera’s exit, Paramount, which has handled distribution for recent installments, is expected to remain involved in the upcoming film. Stay tuned as more information unfolds on the development of Scream VII.