Melissa Barrera is one of the latest actors to lose jobs or representation over tweets concerning the Israel-Hamas war.
According to Time, Barrera was fired from her role in Scream VII after making social media comments in support of the Palestinian people. According to Time, Barrera used her platforms to “share information about the situation in Gaza, including resharing Instagram posts and articles describing Israeli forces’ attacks as ‘genocide and ethnic cleansing’ and referring to Israel as ‘colonized land.'” She also commented how she was looking for information on the war “from Palestinians’ perspectives ‘because Western media only shows the other side.'” She added, “Why they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself.”
Barrera had also previously clarified that her stance on Palestine was not anti-Semitic, writing on Instagram Oct. 27, “It is important for me to clarify that when I say Free Palestine. I do not in any way mean: Kill all Jews.” She said she wanted freedom and safety for Palestinians and Jewish people worldwide.
However, Spyglass Media Group, the production company producing Scream VII, released a statement Tuesday saying why it fired Barrera. The statement shows how the company is equating Barrera’s statements with antisemitism, despite Barrera stating she doesn’t believe in that ideology.
“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.”
Scream VII director Christopher Landon wrote on X, “Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.” He has since deleted the post, but it’s clear that this decision was not his, but the production company’s alone.
Barrera has continued to share information on the war and also shared a picture on her Stories that states, “At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include, than be included for who I exclude.”
The internet has come out swinging in support of Barrera, with Melissa and #MelissaBarrera trending on X. Fan page @Scream_News_ tweeting, “We are gonna get through this, TOGETHER.” The page also included the hashtag #JUSTICEFORMELISSA.
Another superfan posted Barrera’s Instagram Stories post discussing censorship about the war. He wrote in his tweet, “This statement called for #MelissaBarrera to be released from the @ScreamMovies franchise? I think that @spyglassmediagr needs to sit down and reevaluate their sh-t. This is CENSORSHIP and Scream fans will not stand with this!”
This statement called for #MelissaBarrera to be released from the @ScreamMovies franchise?— Roger Conners (@TheScreamQueer) November 22, 2023
I think that @spyglassmediagr needs to sit down and reevaluate their shit.
This is CENSORSHIP and Scream fans will not stand with this!#scream7 #palestine pic.twitter.com/RePZtiZaNg
“This whole situation regarding Melissa Barrera is sickening,” wrote another fan. “People are literally supporting genocide and getting away with it, but one person is saying what is really happening and gets to face the consequences. That’s truly disgraceful. Shame!”
This whole situation regarding Melissa Barrera is sickening. People are literally supporting genocide and getting away with it, but one person, is saying what is really happening and gets to face the consequences. That's truly disgraceful. Shame! #MelissaBarrera pic.twitter.com/iY3HODOi17— Aayush Sharma (@JournoAayu) November 22, 2023
Fans have also taken to bombing the Scream VII page on Letterboxd as a protest against Spyglass for their actions.
‘SCREAM 7’ has been review-bombed on Letterboxd.— The Streamr (@The_Streamr) November 22, 2023
The film is currently under an intense spotlight due to the public firing of Melissa Barrera, who plays Sam Carpenter, by Spyglass Media Group – the film’s producer – for sharing pro-Palestine sentiment.
Credit: @JordisTweeting pic.twitter.com/SMoTdnQV74
There were also tweets discussing a rumor that Jenna Ortega now wants to exit the film, which has now come to pass. Deadline has now reported that Ortega will not come back to the project. Allegedly, Ortega’s decision to leave is not because of Barrera’s firing or because of rumors about her asking for an end to her contract. The reported reason is because of her shooting schedule for Season 2 of Wednesday as well as extra shooting for the upcoming Beetlejuice reboot.
Overall, Spyglass is now facing a sinking ship as its Scream franchise is beginning to fall apart. The story is continuing to develop, so expect more fallout in the days and weeks to come.