After being fired from the iconic Scream franchise in November, Melissa Barrera spoke out about the life-changing experience. And the actress, 33, seems to have found the silver lining. “Honestly, I feel like I am finally becoming who I’m supposed to be in life,” the brunette beauty told the Associated Press in a red-carpet interview at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, January 19. “And the last few months have been a big awakening of that.” Melissa continued, saying, “I’m just so grateful for everything that happened.
The comments, which you can view HERE, come almost two months after her ouster from Scream VII over social media comments on the conflict between Hamas and Israel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she was dropped on November 21, with the outlet sharing an Instagram Story she’d shared to her account. “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp. 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.”
The In the Heights actress had starred in Scream (2022) and Scream VI (2023) as Samantha Carpenter, alongside Jenna Ortega and was set to reprise the role for a third film. Jenna also exited the film a day later due to scheduling conflicts. Spyglass Media Group, the company responsible for the film, released a statement explaining their decision to fire Melissa.
“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,” a spokesperson for the company told Variety at the time.
Melissa stood by her comments, releasing her own statement a day after the falling out. “First and foremost I condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” she wrote via Instagram Stories. “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, 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. 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. Silence is not an option for me.”