In a recent interview with The Messenger, Hayden Panettiere expressed her disappointment and concern over the firing of Melissa Barrera from Scream 7 and the subsequent exits of Jenna Ortega and director Christopher Landon.
Barrera was let go from the production after reportedly making anti-Semitic comments following the attack in Israel and the invasion of Gaza. However, Panettiere feels that the decision was “very unfair and upsetting,” stating that Barrera was one of the first to speak out about the issue and was followed by many others in the industry.
Upon hearing about the incident, Panettiere reached out to Barrera, who was appreciative of the support. “A lot of people hadn’t really asked her how she felt,” Panettiere said. “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.”
The aftermath of Barrera’s departure also saw Jenna Ortega and director Christopher Landon leaving the project. Ortega cited scheduling conflicts with the second season of Wednesday, while Landon mentioned a “dream job that turned into a nightmare.”
Landon took to social media to announce his exit: “I guess now is as good a time as any to announce I formally exited Scream 7 weeks ago. This will disappoint some and delight others. It was a dream job that turned into a nightmare. And my heart did break for everyone involved. Everyone.”
Despite the turmoil, Barrera remains positive about her experience with the Scream franchise. “I’m just so grateful on what I got to infuse in the franchise, and that’s something I’ll be proud of forever,” she said. She also shared a warm reunion with her co-stars at Sundance, stating, “We’re family for life. If we’re ever in the vicinity of each other, we always find each other and that’s what happened at the event. When we find each other, we just want to spend the night with each other, and nothing is ever going to change that.”
While the future of Scream 7 remains uncertain, the strong bond between the cast members continues to shine.