Melissa Barrera is a talented star in Hollywood. After starring in the Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed film In The Heights, the 33-year-old joined the Scream franchise for Scream 5 in 2022. Melissa returned for Scream 6 but was fired from the upcoming sequel, Scream 7, for her social media posts about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
So, who is Melissa Barrera? Here is everything you need to know about the actress and the Scream 7 controversy.
Melissa was the new ‘Scream’ queen — until she was fired.
Melissa was the lead role in the fifth Scream movie in 2022. She joined Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding and more as new additions to the franchise, starring with returning cast members Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, and others. Melissa played Sam Carpenter and reprised the role for Scream 6, which came out March 2023.
Melissa was set to return for the upcoming seventh Scream movie until she made posts about the Israel-Hamas conflict that got her fired from the film on November 21. One of Melissa’s Instagram Stories included a message that read, “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp. Cornering everyone together, with no where to go, no electricity no water … People have learnt nothing from our histories. And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Spyglass — the company behind the film — released a statement to Variety explaining their decision to cut ties with Melissa. “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 Spyglass spokesperson said.
Melissa played Vanessa in the film In The Heights.
Vanessa Morales is Usnavi’s love interest in the 2021 film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Vanessa works at the local salon, Daniela’s, but dreams of a career in fashion. Usnavi is played by Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos. “It’s still unbelievable to me that I’m a part of this, having been a huge fan of the show,” Melissa said in a statement. “I saw it, probably, 15 times on Broadway. I still feel, ‘How is this even real?’ I’m so proud of each person and what they accomplished, and so lucky that I not only got to work with them, but now I get to call them ‘family.’ It’s what we became, what we are.”
Melissa rose to fame on Vida.
Melissa received critical acclaim for her role as Lyn in the STARZ series Vida, which ran for 3 seasons. The show won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2019. The role of Lyn had a profound effect on Melissa. “I feel like I’m another human being now. Three years later, after three seasons shooting this show and being Lyn, I am changed. I’m completely changed, in a lot of ways,” she told Collider.
Melissa is married.
Melissa is married to Paco Zazueta. They wed in 2019 after getting engaged in 2017. Melissa and Paco met on the set of the reality show La Academia in 2011.
Melissa is from Mexico.
The actress hails from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She went on to study musical theater at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, Melissa nabbed the leading role in Siempre Tuya Acapulco. “It was a big deal because I’d only done small parts in telenovelas prior to that and I was young compared to leading ladies in other telenovelas,” she said. “I was shocked and nervous. I had never led a telenovela, which meant shooting 20 or more scenes a day, six days a week and basically carrying the story,” she told The New York Times.