Melissa Barrera has broken her silence after she was let go from Scream VII over comments she made online in regard to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
In a statement posted to her Instagram Story on Wednesday evening, Barrera, 33, said she vehemently denounces antisemitism and hate in all forms but that she will continue to use her platform to call out injustice as she sees it in the world.
“First and foremost I condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people,” the In the Heights actress wrote.
Earlier in the week, Barrera — who starred as Samantha Carpenter in 2022’s Scream and 2023 Scream 6 — was quietly dropped from the upcoming sequel for the film by Spyglass, the production company behind the franchise.
She continued in her message, writing: “As a Latina, a proud Mexicana, I feel the responsibility of having a platform that allows me the privilege of being heard, and therefore I have tried to use it to raise awareness about issues I care about and to lend my voice to those in need.”
“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 continued.
“I pray day and night for no more deaths, for no more violence, and for peaceful co-existence. I will continue to speak out for those that need it most and continue to advocate for peace and safety, for human rights and freedom,” the actress wrote. “Silence is not an option for me.”
Barrera has spent the past month and a half advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza and calling out the Israeli government for what she and others have labeled a “genocide” of Palestinian people.
In October, Barrera posted on her Story a sign that read “I too come from a colonized country: alongside the Mexican flag logo. “Palestine WILL be free” it continued with an italicized quote: “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.”
The actress has also been accused of regurgitating antisemitic tropes about those of the Jewish faith running Hollywood.
“Western media only shows the [Israeli] side. Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself,” she wrote in one post on the social media platform.
In a statement to ET, a Spyglass spokesperson said: “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.”
One story posted by Barrera stated: “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp. Cornering everyone together, with nowhere 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.”
A comprehensive look at many of Barrera’s posts about the ongoing conflict was documented in screenshots posted to X, featured below.
In a since-deleted tweet on X Tuesday night, Scream VII director Christopher Landon seemingly expressed his frustration with Spyglass’ decision in connection to the release of the film’s star.
“This is my statement: Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make,” Landon wrote.
Just hours after it was reported that Barrera had been let go from Scream VII, her co-star and on-screen sister, Jenna Ortega, announced she would not return to the franchise for the upcoming film.
Per Deadline, a source shared that because Scream VII doesn’t have a script yet, scheduling for filming would clash with Ortega’s projects going back into production now that the SAG strike is over.
The Primetime Emmy nominee is already back on set to finish filming Beetlejuice 2, and meet the film’s Labor Day theatrical release. In April, she’ll travel to Ireland to begin shooting season 2 of Netflix’s Wednesday series, which is expected to go on into the summer.
During Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, some 1,200 Israelis were killed and 240 citizens were taken hostage. In response, the Israeli government retaliated by launching coordinated attacks and bombings in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 11,000 people. It’s unclear what percentage of that number is civilians as opposed to fighters, however, most are believed to be women and children, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.