Melissa Barrera, known for her starring role in the “Scream” franchise, has been removed from her leading role in the upcoming “Scream VII” due to controversial social media posts. The production company behind the film, Spyglass Media Group, cited the posts as hate-inciting and antisemitic, leading to their decision to fire her.
Barrera had previously played the character Sam Carpenter in “Scream” and “Scream VI” and was set to reprise her role in the seventh installment of the popular horror series. However, her posts regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict sparked outrage and led to her dismissal.
In one Instagram story, Barrera appeared to allude to the longstanding trope about Jewish people controlling the media. She wrote, “I have been actively looking for videos and information about the Palestinian side for the last 2 weeks or so, following accounts, etc. Why? Because Western media only shows the other side. Why they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself.” These comments drew criticism for perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
Additionally, Barrera reportedly compared Gaza to a concentration camp, describing the war in the Middle East as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.” She referred to Israel as a “colonized” land. These statements further fueled controversy and prompted Spyglass Media Group to take action.
Variety was the first to report on Barrera’s firing, and she appeared to address the situation with a post on Tuesday, declaring that she would rather be excluded for who she includes than included for who she excludes. Christopher Landon, the director of “Scream VII,” expressed his disappointment on social media, clarifying that the decision to remove Barrera was not his to make.
Spyglass Media Group released a statement justifying their decision, stating, “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.”
Barrera’s dismissal from the “Scream” franchise is not an isolated incident. Susan Sarandon, another prominent actress, faced consequences for her controversial speech at a pro-Palestine rally in New York City. Sarandon suggested that Jewish people in America were experiencing what it feels like to be Muslim in America due to fear of antisemitism following the Hamas terror attacks on October 7th. This led to her being dropped by her Hollywood talent agency.
The situation surrounding Barrera and Sarandon highlights the impact of social media on public figures and the repercussions they may face for expressing controversial or inflammatory views. In an era where public figures have a significant platform to share their opinions, it is essential to consider the potential consequences and responsibilities that come with that influence.