Melissa Barrera, star of the new Scream movies, has been fired from the upcoming Scream VII after posting in support of Palestine.
Scream VI star Jenna Ortega has since also pulled out of the film franchise, though it was reportedly due to a scheduling conflict with Netflix's Wednesday, which Ortega also stars in, according to Variety. While she has not cited Barrera's firing as a reason behind her departure, Ortega has been vocally supportive of Palestinians.
"Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp," Barrera wrote in a post to her Instagram story. "Cornering everyone together, with no where to go, no electricity no water. People have learnt nothing from our histories. And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING."
Gaza workers abuse accuse Israeli military of abuse
Over 12,700 people have been killed in Gaza, 5,350 of whom were children, according to UNICEF. The death toll has not been consistently updated over the past two weeks due do Israel's block on all telecommunications in the Gaza Strip. Israel has cut off Gaza's access to food, water, fuel, and electricity against international law, though it has agreed to allow in some humanitarian aid as part of the hostage exchange deal reached with Hamas Thursday.
In a statement, permultiple outlets, a spokesperson for production company Spyglass equated Barrera's criticisms of the Israeli government's actions to "anti-Semitism," a conflation historians and human rights activists have consistently warned against.
"Spyglass' stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism 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," they said.
Spyglass called Barrera's comments "false references to genocide," despite the United Nations itself using the word to describe the situation in Gaza, even issuing a warning of genocide against the Palestinian people last month. The statement came from the Special Rapporteurs of the UN's Human Rights Council, widely considered to be the highest global authority on human rights abuses.
“We are sounding the alarm: There is an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza," they wrote. "Considering statements made by Israeli political leaders and their allies, accompanied by military action in Gaza, and escalation of arrests and killing in the West Bank, there is also a risk of genocide against the Palestine people."
In fact, some of the comments Barrera was punished for came directly from an Israeli historian, who wrote a story in the historic Jewish publicationJewish Currents Magazineabout the ongoing "textbook case of genocide."
In response to Barrera’s firing, Scream VII director Christopher Landon wrote on X: “This is my statement: Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.” The post has since been deleted.
Barrera is not the only Hollywood star to be punished for their support of Palestinians — Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon was dropped by her talent agency, UTA, after she spoke at a pro-Palestine rally in New York City last week.
Production on Scream VII has not yet begun due to the writer and actor strikes. Spyglass has since turned off their Instagram comments in response to the backlash.
Barrera has not yet spoken publicly about her firing, but her bio on Instagram is a sole emoji of a watermelon, a symbol of Palestinian liberation. She recently posted another quote to her Instagram story, which reportedly read: “At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include, than be included for who I exclude.”
- Bella Hadid Speaks Up For Palestinians: 'Gaza Cannot Afford Our Silence' ›
- Here Are Ways You Can Help Palestinian Civilians That Aren't Just Donating ›
- Pro-Palestine Protests Erupt Worldwide as Growing Majority Call For Ceasefire ›
- Social Media Sites Aren't Pushing Pro-Palestine Content — There's Just More Users Posting It ›