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As you know, Melissa Barrera, who portrays one of the main characters, Samantha Carpenter, in the newest ‘Scream’ films, was fired from her role as the production company announced she would not return for the upcoming movie.
The firing came after Barrera posted to social media, taking a stance on the Israel-Hamas war and showing her support for the Free Palestine movement.
At the time, Barrera stated that “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp” and “people have learned nothing from our histories.” The actress also shared a placard that read, “Palestine WILL be free,” adding, “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.”
Shortly after Barrera posted on her social media, it was revealed that she would not be returning to the franchise. Many have since come to her defense, including her 'Scream' co-star, Hayden Panettiere.
Hayden Panettiere Says Melissa Barrera Firing Was 'Unfair'
Hayden Panettiere, who first played Kirby Reed in 'Scream 4', made her triumphant return to the franchise as she reprised her role and starred alongside Melissa Barrera in 'Scream 6'.
Barrera's firing was "very unfair and upsetting," Panettiere told The Messenger, adding, "After she [spoke out], then a whole bunch of other actors and people in the industry started to do the same thing, right? It was almost like she just did it earlier than everyone else."
"You know, a lot of people hadn't really asked her how she felt," the actress continued as she revealed she reached out to Barrera following her firing. Panettiere did say she is "not worried" about Barrera, as the actress recently said she is "grateful for everything."
"Melissa [Barrera] is such a bada-- as a human being and as an actress," the 34-year-old said, adding, "She was hurt by it, but I think she took it in stride and was very, very gracious about it."
Melissa Barrera Speaks Out After Her Firing
After the news broke, Barrera posted on her Instagram Stories to address the firing:
"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.
I have been actively looking for videos and information about the Palestinian side for the last 2 weeks or so, following accounts etc. Why? Because western media only shows the other side. Why they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself. Usually the algorithm on social media gets the gist. Well... My discover page on IG will ONLY show me videos showing and talking about the Israeli side. Censorship is very real. Palestinians know this, they know the world has been trying to make them invisible for decades. Keep sharing."
Months after she was fired from the 'Scream' project, Melissa Barrera spoke about how that firing has changed her life.
“Honestly, I think I finally am becoming who I’m supposed to be in life, and the last few months have been a big awakening of that,” she told The Associated Press at the Sundance Film Festival. “I’m just so grateful for everything that’s happened.”
It was also announced that Jenna Ortega would also not return for the seventh film, as she has a filming conflict with her Netflix show, 'Wednesday'. Director Christopher Landon also dropped out of the project.