Melissa Barrera is opening up three months after she was fired from the Scream franchise for making controversial remarks about the ongoing war in Israel.
“Honestly, I think I finally am becoming who I’m supposed to be in life,” she told the Associative Press during an appearance at the Sundance Film Festival. “And the last few months have been a big awakening of that. I’m just so grateful for everything that’s happened.”
Barrera began starring in the franchise as Samantha Carpenter in Scream (2022) and reprised her role in Scream VI (2023). She was also set to star in the upcoming Scream 7. However, after advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza, she was let go.
The actress expressed her belief that Israel was committing “genocide” and “brutally killing innocent Palestinians, mothers and children, under the pretense of destroying Hamas”.
“Western media only shows the [Israeli] side,” she wrote in October 2023, according to the Guardian. “Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself. We don’t need more hate. No Islamophobia. No antisemitism.”
‘Scream 7’ Still in Production
Scream production company Spyglass silently dropped Melissa Barrera shortly after the comments. A rep finally gave a statement on the situation saying, “Spyglass’ stance in 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.”
In her defense, Barrera shared a statement in her Instagram stories saying, “First and foremost I condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people.”
However, she said she would continue to use her platform to “raise awareness about issues” she cares about.
“Every person on this earth- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status- deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom,” she continued. “I believe a group of people are NOT their leadership, and that no governing body should be above criticism.”
Scream 7 is still in production with Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown being the only two former confirmed castmates returning to the screen. Courtney Cox is also rumored to be involved. The film is expected to debut in late 2024 or early 2025.