UPDATED 11/22, 10 p.m. ET: Melissa Barrera has spoken out following her removal from the Scream VII cast, letting everyone know “silence is not an option for me,” and that she stands against both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
“First and foremost I condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people,” the 33-year-old opened her Instagram Stories post. “As a latina, a proud Mexicana, I feel the responsibility of having a platform that allows me the privilege of being heard, and therefore I have tried to use it to raise awareness about issues I care about and to lend my voice to those in need.
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.”
Barrera continued, “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.”
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Melissa Barrera will no longer star in Scream VII.
Sources told Deadline that the Mexican actress, who starred in the previous Scream reboot-slash-sequels, was dropped from the latest installment of the slasher film over pro-Palestine comments she made on social media accounts that have been perceived as anti-Semitic amidst the Hamas-Israel conflict.
In an undated Instagram Stories post, as reshared on X (formerly known as Twitter), Barrera wrote, “I love my jewish friends. I stand with you in these horrible times. I empathize with your fear and pain. No one deserves to be persecuted or attacked. I know that a lot of jewish people are not ok with what the government of Israel is doing, which is, the same thing.”
She continued, “Jewish children are dying. Innocent jewish people are dying. Palestinian children are dying and have been dying for decades. Innocent Palestinians are and have been dying for decades. Not always because of bombs, but because they live in a prison and have had vital resources limited. Why is it that a designated terrorist organization is that, but a government is just acting out in self defense? Why is it brown people are terrorists but white governments that act in similar ways are not? This questions [sic] is bigger than the current conflict. I pray for peace for everyone. I pray for peace and freedom in that region.”
Spyglass Media said in a statement provided to Variety, “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 posted a more concise response on Twitter, saying, "This is my statement: 💔 Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make."
The 33-year-old actress may have alluded to her firing with an image reposted on her Instagram Stories that reads, “At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include, than be included for who I exclude.”
Another post, where Barrera ponders why she couldn’t find information “about the Palestinian side” for the past few weeks, was also criticized. “Because western media only shows the other side. Why they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself,” she wrote. “Censorship is very real. Palestinians know this, they know the world has been trying to make them invisible for decades. Keep sharing.”
Barrera has since shared additional posts in support of Palestine, and calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
The Hamas-Israel war has proven to be as divisive in Hollywood as it has been everywhere else. It was announced Tuesday that actress Susan Sarandon was dropped by her agency, UTA, after comments she made at a pro-Palestine rally in New York on Nov. 17, according to Variety.
“There are a lot of people that are afraid, 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,” Sarandon told protestors.
Per another report from Variety, Tom Cruise reportedly stepped forward in defense of top CAA agent, Maha Dakhil, who also shared a number of Instagram posts addressing the crisis, including one that read, “What’s more heartbreaking than witnessing genocide? Witnessing the denial that genocide is happening.” Per the publication, Dakhil was relieved from her post as the co-chief of the motion pictures department. Cruise, who is her client, allegedly showed up to the agency to support Dakhil.