Actress Melissa Barrera fired from Scream 7 over Israel-Gaza posts

Actress Melissa Barrera has been fired from the next Scream film sequel after its makers said her pro-Palestinian social media posts were antisemitic.

The star has posted regularly about the Israel-Gaza conflict, including resharing one post that accused Israel of “genocide and ethnic cleansing”.

Production company Spyglass said it had “zero tolerance for antisemitism”.

Meanwhile, Susan Sarandon has been dropped by her Hollywood agency after speaking at a pro-Palestinian rally.

Sarandon, who starred in Thelma & Louise, has not commented on her situation.

On Wednesday evening, Mexican actress Barrera defended her comments.

Posting on Instagram 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.

“Silence is not an option for me.”

Before her departure was announced, Barrera reshared a quote from another account on her Instagram story which read: “At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include, than be included for who I exclude.”

That post has been interpreted by some of her followers as a reference to her being sacked from the film.

Barrera has led the previous two Scream movies and has also starred in the recent screen version of Carmen and the 2021 adaptation of stage musical In The Heights.

Other posts shared by Barrera in recent weeks have included one about distorting the Holocaust “to boost the Israeli arms industry” and another saying Gaza was “currently being treated like a concentration camp”.

In a statement released to Variety, a spokesman for Scream 7 production company Spyglass said its stance was “unequivocally clear”.

It said: “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.”

Christopher Landon, who is expected to direct Scream 7, stylised as Scream VII, appeared to reference the situation on social media.

In a since-deleted post on X, he said: “Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.”

The Scream franchise was rebooted in 2022, with the fifth film taking $137m (£109m) at the box office and the sixth earning $169m (£135m).

Barrera played Sam Carpenter in the films, the older sister of Tara, played by Jenna Ortega.

The rebooted films also starred Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell, reprising their original roles.

Deadline reports that Ortega will not be returning for Scream 7 due to a scheduling conflict.

Barrera’s firing followed news that actress Sarandon has been dropped by talent agency UTA.

She has been criticised for telling the rally last week: “There are a lot of people that are afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence.”

She also said people were “educating themselves, people are stepping away from brainwashing that started when they were kids”.

Sarandon encouraged attendees to “be strong, be patient, be clear and stand with anybody who has the courage to speak out”.

A senior figure at another Hollywood agency, Maha Dakhil of CAA, has also had backlash for Instagram posts about the conflict, one of which said: “What’s more heartbreaking than witnessing genocide? Witnessing the denial that genocide is happening.”

As a result, Ms Dakhil was relieved of her duties as co-chief the motion pictures department, although she was allowed to remain an agent.

According to Variety and other trade publications, one of her most famous clients, Tom Cruise, made it known to CAA that he was backing Ms Dakhil.

Cruise reportedly met her at the agency’s office last week to show his support for Ms Dakhil in person.

The conflict began when Gaza-based gunmen from Hamas attacked southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people and taking about 240 others hostage.

Israel launched a military operation to destroy Hamas in response. More than 14,000 people in Gaza have been killed, according to the Hamas-run government.

Israel and Hamas have now agreed a deal to release 50 hostages being held in Gaza during a four-day pause in fighting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *