Scream Star Hayden Panettiere Speaks Out About Melissa Barrera's Firing

 Hayden Panettiere as Kirby in Scream VI.
Hayden Panettiere as Kirby in Scream VI.

The horror genre's renaissance has been going on for a number of years, to the joy of moviegoers. Some of the best horror movies have returned thanks to reboots or sequels, including Wes Craven's slasher series Scream. The last two movies were wild successes, with Scream VI breaking records for the franchise. But the next movie hit a number of setbacks, starting with Melissa Barrera's firing as Sam Carpenter. And now Scream icon Hayden Panettiere has broken her silence on Barrera's departure.

The internet exploded when Barrera was fired by Paramount, over comments she made about the Hamas-Israel conflict. Some members of the Scream VI cast have recently commented about this shakeup, with Kirby actress Hayden Panettiere telling The Messenger the situation was "very unfair and upsetting." She went on saying:

After she [spoke out], then a whole bunch of other actors and people in the industry started to do the same thing, right? It was almost like she just did it earlier than everyone else.

Without naming names, Hayden Panettiere referenced various Hollywood figures who ended up speaking out about the ongoing conflict overseas, and calls for a ceasefire. While the Heroes alum didn't give her own opinion on that war, she seems to take umbrage with Barrera's treatment.

These comments come as Melissa Barrera has been reflecting on the Scream 7 fallout. The In the Heights actress was the protagonist of the last two movies, and was made all the more important to the franchise after Neve Campbell dropped out as Sidney.

Barrera's firing would end up having a domino affect on the development of Scream 7. Jenna Ortega dropped out shortly after, and new director Christopher Landon followed suit. Later in that same interview, Panettiere spoke about the way that her co-star handled her firing, saying:

Melissa is such a badass as a human being and as an actress...She was hurt by it, but I think she took it in stride and was very, very gracious about it.

While she's out as Sam Carpenter, Melissa Barrera will continue her run as a horror icon, as she was featured in the trailer for Abigail, which was directed by the filmmakers who helmed the last two Scream movies. As for the future of that franchis, there are countless questions about what comes next.

Since Scream 7 lost its director and two of its stars, it's unclear what Paramount is planning for the slasher. There are a number of theories about how the franchise can continue, including bringing back Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott. Legacy characters feel all the more important without the Carpenter sisters, including Hayden Panettiere's fan favorite Kirby.

The Scream franchise is available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription. Give the 2024 movie release dates a gander to plan your next movie experience.