Jenna Ortega has dropped out of “Scream 7” due to her “Wednesday” Season 2 shooting schedule, Variety has confirmed. The news of her exit comes one day after her co-star Melissa Barrera was fired from the horror movie due to Barrera’s social media posts about Israel and Palestine.
Ortega’s departure was apparently not influenced by Barrera’s firing and was in the works months ago before the SAG-AFTRA strike began. Production dates for “Wednesday” Season 2 have yet to be confirmed. Ortega also needs to wrap filming on Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice 2,” which has a few more days to shoot after it was interrupted by the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Ortega and Barrera co-starred as sisters Tara and Sam Carpenter in the 2022 revival of “Scream” and this year’s sequel “Scream VI.” They brought life back to the dormant horror franchise along with new and returning stars, and “Scream 7” was announced earlier this year with director Christopher Landon.
Barrera was fired from “Scream 7” on Tuesday due to her social media posts supporting Palestine amid the ongoing conflict with Israel. “Scream” producer Spyglass Media Group said in a statement to Variety, “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.” Barrera had shared one post that accused Israel of “genocide and ethnic cleansing” and reposted an excerpt from Jewish Currents magazine about distorting “the Holocaust to boost the Israeli arms industry.”
After Barrera’s firing, Landon posted and deleted a statement on X on Tuesday that read, “Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.”
The 2022 revival of “Scream” brought back original stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette and introduced franchise newcomers Mason Gooding Jr. and Jasmine Savoy Brown. For “Scream 7,” Campbell declined to return due to a pay dispute, but directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet expressed hope that she would come back to the series in the future. The movie ended on a happy note for Ortega and Barrera’s characters, who beat the Ghostface killer once again and repaired their relationship.
Deadline broke the news.