Melissa Barrera Speaks Out on Her Scream Firing Fallout

Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter in Scream (2022). - Image: Warner Bros.
Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter in Scream (2022). - Image: Warner Bros.
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The Scream revival, which kicked off in 2022 and found continued success with last year’s Scream VI, took a major detour in November 2023 when star Melissa Barrera was fired from the franchise by production company Spyglass, which took issue with social media posts Barrera had shared regarding her views on Gaza and Israel.

Spyglass called her stance antisemitic; Barrera responded that she’s against “hate and prejudice of any kind.” In the wake of her firing, co-star Jenna Ortega also departed the next Scream film, purportedly for scheduling reasons, as did the film’s director, Christopher Landon, who shared on X that he was heartbroken, but “it’s time to move on.” While Scream 7 now has new life thanks to the return of original series star Neve Campbell and writer-turned-director Kevin Williamson, Barrera’s departure still stings—not to mention creating something of a continuity problem for the franchise, since her character, Sam Carpenter, played such an important part in the narrative of the previous two films.

Half a year after being let go from the franchise that elevated her to mainstream success, Barrera is about to star in another horror film: Abigail, a vampire film that reunites her with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the directors of Scream and Scream VI. It’s out April 19, and there’s no chance Barrera isn’t going to be asked about Scream in the lead-up to its release. In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, she addresses the situation in depth for the first time since it happened.

“It’s definitely hard, because I was just in such a cloudy state of mind, but I was very fortunate,” she told the trade, which noted the actress got teary-eyed while reflecting back. “I had a lot of support from the people around me: my team and specifically my publicists—they just carried me.” Of the effect her firing has had on the Scream series, she said, “None of this makes me happy. It was just all sad because I really, deeply care about the franchise. It’s just bad that it had to happen like that.”

Barrera “declined” to say if she and Campbell, who co-starred in Scream (Campbell didn’t return for Scream VI after a pay dispute), have talked regarding Campbell’s return in Scream 7. But interestingly, she also doesn’t categorically rule out her own return to the series, even after everything that’s happened. “I’ve learned to never say never, but also a lot of things would have to happen for Sam to come back. For now, next page, next chapter, and then we’ll see what the future holds.”


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