The production company behind Scream 7 has let go of the franchise’s main star, Melissa Barrera, due to her support for Palestine during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Because of the nature of some posts Barrera has shared across social media, Spyglass Media Group asserts that her rhetoric, “flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech.”
A spokesperson for Spyglass Media Group says that the company dropped Melissa Barrera from the cast of “Scream 7” because her social media posts were interpreted as antisemitic: “Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of… pic.twitter.com/FNZpNamOd6
Here’s the full statement from SMG to Variety in case it doesn’t fully display above:
“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.“
SlashFilm had reported on Barrera’s exit from Scream 7 hours before Variety dropped some new details and SMG’s take on the situation.
From what I gather, this is the main post under scrutiny:
the slashfilm article says melissa barrera was fired from scream 7 for leaning into "an antisemitic trope that jews control the media" and i have to assume it's referring to this instagram story. this is quite blatantly misconstruing what she said. pic.twitter.com/BHXNzqW64b
Barrera explains that she’s been scouring Instagram for pro-Palestine videos, and then gets into the accusations about the state of the mass media and who controls it.
I mean. Tough scene. It’s such a lightning-rod issue. While it makes sense that somebody would want to use their platform to express empathy and outrage at the perpetual conflict, tying it into a conspiratorial-skewing view of the news is probably not the most advisable way to go about this.
Here’s what Barrera had to say after she was let go:
Scream VI already lost the former face of the franchise when Neve Campbell refused to reprise her role as Sidney Prescott due to an insultingly low-ball salary offer. Neve is the engine who made this franchise go. Against all odds, Barrera carried the torch in her stead and helped make the latest installment into a big hit that grossed $169 million on only a $33-$35 million budget.
Good news is there’s a fantastic young cast in place, headlined by Jenna Ortega. She’s one of the biggest young stars on the planet and straight-up among the better actors working today in terms of raw ability. It’ll be interesting to see how Ortega and the rest of the cast respond to Barrera’s exit.
The filmmakers who directed the previous two Scream flicks, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, left the story in a great place but were unable to finish out a would-be trilogy. That was because they committed to an untitled Monsters movie for Universal, which, wouldn’t you know it, stars none other than Melissa Barrera.
It’s a tough break for Landon to sign on to this huge gig, thinking he’d revolve his movie around Barrera’s Samantha Carpenter, only to see her kicked to the curb. I don’t think even the sharpest meta joke that Scream movies are adept at pulling off would land here. It’s unclear whether Landon will write Scream 7, or if recent scribes James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick will return.
Whomever is tasked with the screenplay is in for a doozy of a time. The producers better be ready to bring Sidney back. If you don’t have her or Samantha, who’s the main character? Maybe Ortega takes center stage by default. We shall see. The plot has certainly thickened.
Once upon a time, yours truly wrote a 3,000+ word review of Scream VI and talked about it on TikTok since that wasn’t enough.