Melissa Barrera was among the names cited in a letter addressed to the arts and culture sector. In it, they condemn cultural institutions across Western countries for “repressing, silencing and stigmatizing Palestinian voices and perspectives.” Olivia Colman, Harriet Walker, Aimee Lou Wood, Paapa Essiedu, Nicola Coughlan, and Amir El-Masry are among the signatories.
The letter denounces “targeting and threatening the livelihoods of artists and arts workers who express solidarity with Palestinians, as well as cancelling performances, screenings, talks, exhibitions and book launches.” It goes on to remark that Freedom of expression, as enshrined in the Human Rights Act, is the “backbone of our creative lives and fundamental to democracy.”
The letter goes on to say that “the struggle for freedom from racism for Palestinians and Jews is one of collective liberation. We refuse to pit one community against the other, and stand firmly against all forms of racism including Islamophobia and antisemitism.”
Barrera, who played Sam Carpenter in the last two Scream movies, was fired from the franchise for her social media posts in support of Palestine. Spyglass Media Group, the production company behind the Scream movies, released a statement in regards to Barrera that said: “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.”
Barrera posted a statement on Instagram after news of her firing, that said: “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.”
“Silence is not an option for me,” Barrera ended the story with.
A day after Melissa Barrera was fired, it was announced that Jenna Ortega, who played her on-screen sister, Tara Carpenter, in the last two Scream movies, would also not return to the franchise.