Melissa Barrera dropped from Scream VII over Israel/Hamas comments, and fans are furious

Scream star Melissa Barrera stopped from franchise after Israel-Palestine remarks.

Scream star Melissa Barrera will not return for the seventh instalment of the horror franchise after she shared pro-Palestine posts on social media.

The star has had a lead role in the rebooted horror series, playing Sam Carpenter. The most recent film, Scream VI, hit cinemas earlier this year.

Barrera is the latest celebrity to make headlines for their stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict since tensions reignited in the region following the terrorist group’s attack on 7 October, which saw 1,200 Israeli’s killed. Veteran bisexual actress Susan Sarandon was recently dropped by her talent agency, UTA, for comments she made during a pro-Palestine rally.

On her Instagram story, Barrera shared support for an immediate ceasefire, images and videos of the destruction in Gaza, and labelled the ongoing attacks on Palestine as “genocide and ethnic cleansing”.

Melissa Barrera in Scream.
Melissa Barrera played a lead role in the Scream reboot. (Paramount Pictures)

According to the official United Nations Humanitarian site, as of 10 November, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported 11,078 deaths since 7 October, many of whom are children. The latest report from Associated Press says health officials have since lost the ability to count the dead.

Why was Melissa Barrera dropped from the Scream franchise?

In a statement to Variety, Scream production company Spyglass made their stance “unequivocally clear”.

You may like to watch

A spokesperson 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.

“In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks and Israel’s subsequent attacks on Gaza, Barrera has been posting on her Instagram about the conflict, accusing Israel of ‘genocide and ethnic cleansing’ and distorting ‘the Holocaust to boost the Israeli arms industry’.”

The final part of the statement refers to an article in Jewish Currents, a progressive left-leaning American magazine.

According to Variety’s sources, the production company also took issue with Barrera’s posts which referred to Israel as a “colonised” land.

Elsewhere, it claimed that the star’s statement – “Western media only shows the [Israeli] side. Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself” – perpetuates antisemitic tropes.

Christopher Landon, who is set to direct Scream VII, reacted to the news in a now-deleted post, writing: “Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.”

Around the time news broke, Barrera – who has also lost her publicist, according to Variety – shared a post on her Instagram story which read: “At the end of the day, I would rather be excluded for who I include than be included for who I exclude.”

UN experts have warned of a “genocide in the making”, while UN human rights official Craig Mokhiber stepped down from his role last month, saying: “Once again we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the organisation we serve appears powerless to stop it.”

How have fans reacted?

Fans have flocked to social media to show their anger at the decision to fire Barrera.

Film critic Zoe Rose Bryant wrote: “Not only is Spyglass slandering Melissa Barrera by falsely accusing her of being antisemitic, they’re also actively denying the fact that a genocide and ethnic cleansing is taking place in Palestine as we speak. What’s happened today is unspeakably sickening and it’s only the start.”

Another X, formerly Twitter, user wrote: “I hope every single member of the Scream cast walks. I love this franchise with all of my heart, and if this decision stands then Spyglass has ensured I will never watch another entry. Melissa Barrera is right.”

Barrera is not the only Scream cast member to vocally support Palestine on social media. Last month, her on-screen sister Jenna Ortega signed an open letter calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Although the majority of Ortega’s pro-Palestine posts over the years have since been deleted, in 2022 she vocalised her support for Palestine alongside countries such as Yemen, Ukraine and Iraq.

“Jenna Ortega has been a vocal supporter of Palestine for quite a while also,” one fan wrote. “If she were to protest Melissa Barrera’s firing and stand up for her, it would be such a powerful move.”

Fans are also pointing out apparent double standards in Hollywood: Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has faced no professional consequence for his remarks on the ongoing conflict.

Earlier this month, a viral video featuring Schnapp showed him laughing while holding up stickers reading: “Zionism is sexy” and “Hamas is ISIS.”

Meanwhile, comedian Amy Schumer was forced to remove an Instagram post equating people in Gaza to rapists.

PinkNews has contacted Barrera’s management for comment.