Melissa Barrera is once again taking the high road on her whole Scream debacle. Two months ago, the In The Heights actor was severed from the franchise after she referred to the Israel-Hamas war as “GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING” on social media. Now, having had some time to process and with two new horror films, Your Monster and Abigail, on the way, Barrera is “very at peace” with her decision to speak out.
“I’m not the first person that’s happened to, but it was shocking,” Barrera told Rolling Stone of Scream studio Spyglass’ decision to label her comments “hate speech” and “Holocaust distortion.” “I don’t even know what to say,” she continued. “I think everything that happened was very transparent, on both sides, and I know who I am, and I know that what I said always came from a place of love and a place of humanity and a place of human rights and a place of freedom for people, which shouldn’t be controversial. It shouldn’t be up for debate. So, I’m very at peace. The people who know me in my family know the truth about me and where I stand, and I think most people in the world also do.”
When asked why she supported a ceasefire, Barrera continued, “It’s for the well-being of both sides of that wall, you know? An end to the violence. That’s it. An end to the violence for everyone’s peace and security. Just… humanity.”
If nothing else, the whole experience has shown the actor who her true friends really are. “It’s like a filter,” she explained. “It’s very important, in this industry, to know who you can count on and who you can’t, and who you wanna work with and who you don’t.”
One of those ride-or-die friends is Jenna Ortega—a “good egg,” in Barrera’s words—who left the franchise around the same time as her co-star. “She’s a good person and we love each other,” Barrera gushed. “She would show up for me and I would show up for her no matter what.” (Barrera’s interviewer also asked whether there was more to Ortega’s decision than a reported salary dispute, but Barrera failed to answer.)
But while Barrera has clearly found some solace away from Woodsboro, things aren’t looking good for ol’ Ghostface. In December, Scream VII director Christopher Landon also walked, calling the post “a dream job that turned into a nightmare.” Despite the outsized popularity of Scream VI, without its director or two of its biggest stars, it’s unclear where the franchise can go from here—or whether people will want to engage with it at all whenever all of this dust settles. We can only hope, to borrow Landon’s words, that “Wes [Craven]’s legacy thrives and lifts above the din of a divided world” when all is said and done.
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