When Melissa Barrera was fired from the Scream franchise after making comments about the Israel-Hamas war, her overriding emotion was pure shock.
“I’m not the first person that’s happened to, but it was shocking,” Barrera, 33, recalled to Rolling Stone on Wednesday, January 24. “I don’t even know what to say. I think everything that happened was very transparent, on both sides, and I know who I am, and I know that what I said always came from a place of love and a place of humanity and a place of human rights and a place of freedom for people, which shouldn’t be controversial. It shouldn’t be up for debate.”
Barrera noted that she’s “very at peace,” and the people in her inner circle and beyond “know the truth” about her and where she stands.
The actress made headlines in November 2023 when it was reported that she was let go from the horror movie franchise after she posted pro-Palestine messages on her social media during the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Spyglass Media Group, the production company behind the films, subsequently released a statement.
“Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech,” their statement to Variety read.
Barrera then broke her silence, condemning anti-semitism and Islamophobia.
“I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people. As a Latina, a proud Mexicana, I feel the responsibility of having a platform that allows me the privilege of being heard,” she wrote via her Instagram Story at the time, adding that she’s used her platform as a way to “raise awareness about issues I care about and to lend my voice to those in need.”
She continued, “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. I believe a group of people are NOT their leadership, and that no governing body should be above criticism.”
Barrera concluded her post by saying that she will “continue to speak out for those that need it most” as well as “continue to advocate for peace and safety, for human rights and freedom,” adding that “silence is not an option for me.”
After Barrera’s departure from the franchise, it was announced that her costar Jenna Ortega would also not be reprising her role in the movies due to scheduling conflicts with Netflix’s Wednesday.
While Barrera and Ortega, 21, are no longer part of the Scream films, the twosome have maintained a relationship with their former cast members. The pair reunited with Skeet Ulrich, Jack Quaid and others earlier this month at the Evening Before Gala.
“I’m just so grateful [for] what I got to infuse in the franchise, and that’s something I’ll be proud of forever,” Barrera told Deadline while attending the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month. “We’re family for life.”