Melissa Barrera Says She’s Had a “Big Awakening” After ‘Scream’ Firing

Melissa Barrera says her firing from the Scream franchise, which followed social media posts about the Israel-Gaza conflict, was part of a “big awakening” for the actress she’s “grateful” for.

Speaking to Te Associated Press on Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival, the Carmen and Vida star said that after Spyglass Media fired her over what they deemed were antisemitic posts, she’s had time to reflect on how her support of Palestinians and calls for a ceasefire in the region has helped her realize more about herself.

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“Honestly, I think I finally am becoming who I’m supposed to be in life, and the last few months have been a big awakening of that,” she told the outlet at the red carpet premiere of her new film Your Monster. “I’m just so grateful for everything that’s happened.”

Barrera had multiple social media posts around the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, which described elements of Israel’s response to Hamas in Gaza as genocide and ethnic cleansing. In November, it was announced that Barrera had been let go from the franchise.

Spyglass, in a statement about its decision, said it had “zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate” including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion and hate speech.

In her own statement, the In the Heights and Keep Breathing actress said she not only condemned antisemitism and Islamophobia but also “hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people.

“Every person on this earth — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status — deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom.”

Since the news of her firing, co-star Jenna Ortega and director Christopher Landon have both departed Scream 7. Ortega’s departure, revealed just a day after Barrera’s firing, was initially described as a scheduling issue, but according to sources who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, it was over a requested pay increase. Landon announced he had left the project two days before Christmas, following a “dream job that turned into a nightmare.

“My heart did break for everyone involved. Everyone. But it’s time to move on,” Landon said in a statement posted to his social media.

Barrera’s co-star Jasmin Savoy Brown also recently opened up about her future with the franchise following an unplanned Scream 6 cast reunion at MPTF’s 17th Annual Evening Before Gala, with the Yellowjackets star revealing she is currently unclear about whether she’ll return for Scream 7. “I haven’t gotten a call, so I think if you want to ask Spyglass what they’re doing, you can,” she said.

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