Fans of horror movies, particularly those who love the Scream franchise, have had a tumultuous past few months. Melissa Barrera was fired from the franchise due to comments she made on social media regarding Gaza. Subsequently, Wednesday star and secondary franchise lead, Jenna Ortega, also left the project. Perhaps the final nail in the coffin for the sequel was when the newly announced Scream 7 director Christopher Landon stepped down, claiming that his dream job “turned into a nightmare.” This has left the production of the next film in limbo. While the fans are still coming to terms with the rebooted franchise's turnover, the In the Heights actress says she sees the high-profile firing as a "big awakening" in her personal journey.
AP News spoke to the actress on the red carpet for her independent film Your Monster's Sundance premiere. The 33-year-old actress can be seen, in a video posted on the outlet's official Instagram account, addressing her ousting from Scream VII. According to her, she is grateful for the past few months. In her own words:
Honestly, I feel like I finally am becoming who I’m supposed to be in life. And the last few months have been, you know, a big, awakening of that. And I’m just so grateful for everything that’s happened.
According to an official statement from Spyglass Media, the Club de Cuervos veteran was terminated due to social media posts deemed antisemitic. The posts in question, made during the Israel-Hamas conflict, characterized Israel's actions in Gaza as genocide and ethnic cleansing. Spyglass Media announced Melissa Barrera's departure from the franchise in November. The studio emphasized its "zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate," explicitly condemning false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion, and hate speech.
It’s important to note the Vida performer released her own statement, where she not only condemned antisemitism and Islamophobia but also “hate and prejudice" of any kind against any group of people.
While the future of Scream VII remains uncertain, Melissa Barrera is apparently using the past year as an opportunity for personal growth. Her departure from the beloved slasher series hasn't hindered her friendship with fellow series alums. She recently reunited with her Scream castmates on the red carpet and shared a photo of the run-in. Among those present were Jasmin Savoy, Mason Gooding, Jack Quaid, Liana Liberato, Tony Revolori and the legendary Skeet Ulrich. Barrera shared candid and passionate sentiments when she later discussed the heartfelt reunion with her horror co-stars during the premiere for Your Monster (which anticipated for the 2024 movie schedule). As she put it, the core four are “family for life.”
In terms of what we know about Scream 7, numerous uncertainties linger. Nevertheless, one aspect is sure: Melissa Barrera and her fellow cast members have contributed to one of the best horror movie franchises ever. Whether they return for follow-up flicks, the bond formed during their time on set will surely leave a lasting impact in the halls of horror history. Additionally, Barrera seems more than set on entering the next chapter of her career.
Be sure to check out our schedule of upcoming horror movies to see what other spooky cinematic gold is headed to a theater near you.