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Melissa Barrera opens up about ‘sad’ firing from Scream franchise – but doesn’t rule out return

Melissa Barrera has opened up about her firing from the Scream franchise over comments made on social media in criticism of Israel.

The 33-year-old Mexican actor had starred as Sam Carpenter in the horror franchise’s fifth and sixth entries (2022’s Scream and 2023’s Scream VI), and had been set to reprise the role in a forthcoming sequel.

However, she was removed from the project last November after the film’s production company Spyglass Media alleged that one of her posts “floated an antisemitic trope that Jews control the media”. In the Instagram message, she had written: “Western media only shows the [Israeli] side. Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself.”

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Barrera, who is also known for her roles in the musical film In the Heights and the drama series Vida, reflected on the firing, and discussed the future of the Scream franchise.

“It’s definitely hard, because I was just in such a cloudy state of mind, but I was very fortunate,” she said. “I had a lot of support from the people around me: my team and specifically my publicists – they just carried me.

“None of this makes me happy,” Barrera added. “It was just all sad because I really, deeply care about the franchise. It’s just bad that it had to happen like that.”

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, who directed Barrera in the two Scream films, commented on the incident for the first time to THR, stating: “Melissa is incredibly strong. You see it in her performances. When you’re friends with her, you feel it in just being with her.”

Barerra also praised her co-stars, including Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega, who played her sister in Scream. Ortega left the sequel days after Barerra, with reports stating that it was related to scheduling conflicts.

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega in ‘Scream’ (Spyglass Media)
Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega in ‘Scream’ (Spyglass Media)

Addressing their exits, Barerra said: “We chatted for a while, and I love her so much. She’s been very supportive of me, and we’re sisters for life.”

In the months since Barerra’s sacking, Israel has continued to face criticism for the violence in Gaza. The war in Gaza was launched after an attack by Hamas on 7 October that killed 1,200 Israelis and resulted in more than 200 Israelis being taken hostage. In the months since, Israeli troops have killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian health ministry – most of whom are women and children – and the country is currently suffering what the US defence secretary has called a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

THR suggests that the response to Barerra’s political opinions has soften as public opposition to Israel’s actions has grown. One “top dealmaker” is quoted as saying: “Before it was, ‘How dare you,’ but now [Barerra’s] comments are being seen more positively.”

Barrera also argued that women of colour are often less able to express themselves politically without consequences. “It’s very evident that that’s the case,” she said. “All I can say is that it is very important for me to raise my voice for those who don’t have one. It seems weird to have a platform and not use it for that.”

Speaking about a potential return to the Scream franchise in the future, Barerra replied: “I’ve learned to never say never, but also a lot of things would have to happen for Sam to come back.

“For now, next page, next chapter, and then we’ll see what the future holds.”

Earlier this month, it was announced that original Scream star Neve Campbell will be returning for the forthcoming sequel. Barerra declined to comment to THR when asked if the pair had discussed the return.