Film Review - Scream VI

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Melissa Barrera, left, and Jenna Ortega in a scene from “Scream VI.” (Philippe Bossé/Paramount Pictures via Associated Press

“Scream” star Jenna Ortega is sticking by co-star Melissa Barrera after the latter’s controversial posts regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict got her booted from the film franchise earlier this week.

Ortega – whose commitment to the Netflix hit “Wednesday” allegedly forced her to drop out of “Scream VII” on the heels of her friend’s firing – took to Instagram to like a post summarizing Barrera’s saga, reports TMZ. That “like,” however, has since disappeared.

The post comes from an account that highlights celebrities who have stood up in support of Palestine.

News of the supposed “like” comes amid widespread speculation that the timing of Ortega’s exit was too coincidental to be anything but a demonstration of solidarity.

The meta-horror hit’s studio, Spyglass Media Group, clarified earlier this week that the decision to fire 33-year-old Barrera – who had all but replaced Neve Campbell as the face of the series – was not linked to her direct support of Palestine, but that the comments she made veered into antisemitic territory.

“Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: 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,” a spokesperson for the studio told Variety.

The Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7, when the terrorist organization launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing at least 1,200 people and taking roughly 240 people hostage. Nearly 15,000 Palestinians in Hamas-run Gaza have died as a result of Israel’s retaliatory attacks.

Barrera, who is still speaking out about the war, is believed to have been penalized for posts in which she reportedly referred to Israel as a “colonized land” and Israel’s offensive as “genocide and ethnic cleansing.”

She also alluded to a long-standing antisemitic trope about the Jewish relationship to the media, saying she had trouble finding stories that reflected Palestinians’ experience “because Western media only shows the other side.” Barrera added that she would “let you deduce for yourself” why that seems to be the case.

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