Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega Exit Scream 7 Amid Casting Shakeups

Actresses Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega will not return for Scream 7 due to major casting changes. Barrera was fired in November 2023 after making pro-Palestine comments on social media deemed antisemitic by the production company.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega Exit Scream 7 Amid Casting Shakeups

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega Exit Scream 7 Amid Casting Shakeups

Actresses Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega, who portrayed the Carpenter sisters in Scream 5 and 6, will not be returning for the upcoming installment of the horror franchise, Scream 7, due to major casting changes. Barrera's departure comes after she was fired in November 2023 for making pro-Palestine comments on social media that were deemed antisemitic by Spyglass, the production company behind the film.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the delicate balance between free speech and accountability in the entertainment industry, and raises questions about the boundaries of acceptable political expression. The controversy also underscores the importance of considering the potential consequences of public statements, particularly for those with large platforms and influence.

Barrera's controversial post compared the situation in Gaza to a "concentration camp," stating, "Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp. Cornering everyone together, with nowhere to go, no electricity, no water. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING." In response, Spyglass released a statement condemning antisemitism and hate speech, leading to Barrera's termination from the project.

Despite the fallout, Barrera has received supported from her Scream co-stars, including Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Mason Gooding, Dylan Minnette, and Tony Revolori. Ortega, who initially cited scheduling conflicts with her Netflix series Wednesday as the reason for her own departure from Scream 7, has remained close with Barrera. "We talked a lot when it went down. She was checking in on me, and was super sweet. We haven't spoken in a while, but she's busy. She's crazy busy," Barrera shared with Rolling Stone.

Hayden Panettiere, who starred alongside Barrera in Scream, recently calls, co, star, unfair in an interview with The Messenger. Panettiere suggested that Barrera was unfairly targeted for her views, while others who made similar statements were not punished, stating, "It was almost like she just did it earlier than everyone else."

The Scream franchise has faced casting issues in the past, with Neve Campbell departing Scream VI due to salary discrepancies. However, Campbell has expressed openness to returning to the series "under the right circumstances." Following her exit from Scream 7, Barrera has moved on to star in another horror film, Abigail, and continues to use her platform to raise awareness about issues she cares about. "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," support Barrera shared on social media.

The controversy surrounding Barrera's comments and subsequent firing has sparked a broader debate in the entertainment industry about free speech, political activism, and the consequences of expressing controversial opinions. As the Scream franchise moves forward without two of its rising stars, it remains to be seen how the casting shakeups will impact the highly anticipated seventh installment of the iconic horror series.

Key Takeaways

  • Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega will not return for Scream 7 due to casting changes.
  • Barrera was fired from Scream 7 after making pro-Palestine comments deemed antisemitic.
  • Barrera's co-stars, including Ortega and Hayden Panettiere, have expressed support for her.
  • The controversy raises questions about free speech and accountability in the entertainment industry.
  • Barrera has moved on to star in another horror film, Abigail, and continues to use her platform for activism.