Melissa Barrera's Scream 7 Firing Was 'Unfair And Upsetting,' Says Hayden Panettiere  

The future of the "Scream" franchise may be looking pretty shaky right about now, but at least the stars of the franchise are there to support one another. "Scream VI" star Melissa Barrera was fired from the upcoming "Scream 7" by Spyglass Entertainment in November 2023 after she posted on social media that Gaza was "being treated like a concentration camp" in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, and that its citizens were being subject to "genocide." Spyglass deemed her comments "antisemitic," citing a zero-tolerance policy on "false references to genocide." The statement was widely challenged at the time, and this week the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to take immediate measures to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

Shortly after the news of Barrera's firing broke, fans learned that "Scream 6" favorite Jenna Ortega would also not be returning for the sequel, though she had dropped out during the summer due to scheduling conflicts. Director Christopher Landon revealed that he had also thrown in the towel on what he called a "nightmare job," dropping out of "Scream 7" and exiting the franchise. With two of its major stars out of the picture and no director, things are looking grim for the future of "Scream 7."

While the franchise might not be looking too great, at least it sounds like Barrera herself is doing alright in the aftermath. She certainly has the support of co-star Hayden Panettiere, who played the fan-favorite character Kirby in "Scream 4" and "Scream VI."

'Melissa is such a badass'

The former "Heroes" star recently spoke with The Messenger in an interview where she described Barrera's firing as "very unfair and upsetting." Panettiere reached out to Barrera after hearing the news, and her co-star thanked her for checking in. Panettiere also notes that:

"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 ... Melissa is such a badass as a human being and as an actress ... She was hurt by it, but I think she took it in stride and was very, very gracious about it."

Panettiere said she "wasn't worried" about her friend, and it sounds like she has good reason for her lack of concern. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Barrera explained that she was advocating for humanity and is "very at peace" with the whole situation, because she and the people she loves know where her heart was at. She also said that she felt her comments shouldn't be controversial since she is advocating for an end to the violence on both sides, for the wellbeing of all of the innocent people who have been caught in the crossfire. 

Barrera is currently earning rave reviews for the film "Your Monster," which just screened at Sundance. Horror fans can also see her later this year in the vampire ballerina movie "Abigail."

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