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Melissa Barrera speaks out on ‘sad’ firing from Scream 7 and Jenna Ortega’s exit

Melissa Barrera has spoken of being fired from the seventh instalment of Scream over her remarks about the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The Mexican actress, 33, played Samantha “Sam” Carpenter in previous films in the slasher franchise, beginning with Scream in 2022.

Barrera reprised her role in Scream VI, where she appeared alongside Courteney Cox and Jenna Ortega to fight off the Ghostface persona, the name of a series of killers who wear the ghost mask and black cloak.

Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year 2023
Jenna Ortega stars in Scream (Ian West/PA)

Ortega, who has risen to global fame as Wednesday Adams in Netflix horror series Wednesday and is set to be in Beetlejuice Beetlejuice, also departed last year. She reportedly left over a scheduling conflict as the second season of the show returned to the streaming platform.

Speaking about her own exit, Barrera told The Hollywood Reporter: “None of this makes me happy.

“It was just all sad because I really, deeply care about the franchise.

“It’s just bad that it had to happen like that.”

She also said “not at all” when asked if she was warned about toning down her social media posts, which have called for an Israeli ceasefire.

Barrera also said that “it’s very evident” that actors, who are not women of colour, have not had any issues for speaking out about the Gaza conflict, which has seen thousands of civilians die in the wake of the militant group Hamas invading Israel in October.

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.”

Barrera also said that it was “definitely hard, because I was just in such a cloudy state of mind” but she was “fortunate” due to the support of others, including her team and publicists.

She said she has spoken to US actress Ortega who she loves “so much”, adding: “She’s been very supportive of me, and we’re sisters for life.”

Barrera, who will next be seen in vampire horror film Abigail, did not exclude the possibility of returning to the Scream franchise.

“I’ve learned to never say never, but also a lot of things would have to happen for Sam to come back,” she said. “For now, next page, next chapter, and then we’ll see what the future holds.”

Canadian actress Neve Campbell, who was in the first film as Sidney Prescott alongside Cox and returned for four more instalments, has since been cast for Scream 7.

Campbell previously told People magazine that she felt unhappy with the offer made to her by the studio for the sixth instalment and declined to be in it.

However, in an Instagram post this month, she said it has “always been such a blast and an honour to get to play Sidney in the Scream movies” and said she would make a comeback.

She added: “My appreciation for these films, and for what they have meant to me, has never waned.

“I’m very happy and proud to say I’ve been asked, in the most respectful way, to bring Sidney back to the screen and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!”

Campbell also said that Kevin Williamson, who wrote the original screenplay Scream and the second and fourth films, will return to the franchise, this time as a director.

“This was his baby and it’s his brilliant mind that dreamt up this world,” she added. “Kevin is not just an inspiration as an artist but has been a dear friend for many years.

“To the amazing Scream fans, I hope you are as excited as I am. See you on set.”

Wes Craven was the director on all of the films up until his death in 2015 at the age of 76.