Jenna Ortega Reportedly Left 'Scream' Over a Salary Dispute

Former star Neve Campbell also left the franchise in 2022, stating that she wasn't offered what she felt she was worth.

Jenna Ortega attends The 2023 Met Gala
(Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Update, 11/29: In addition to scheduling issues, Jenna Ortega also reportedly left Scream VII due to a pay dispute. A new report from The Hollywood Reporter says that the Wednesday star's exit largely boiled down to a salary dispute. Ortega's team apparently asked for a payout in the "high seven figure" range, which production studio Spyglass wasn’t willing to offer. The actor had been paid six figures for both Scream (2022) and Scream VI.

This news of Ortega's exit parallels Neve Campbell's departure from the franchise following her appearance in Scream (2022). The Sidney Prescott actor told People at the time, "I did not feel that what I was being offered equated to the value that I bring to this franchise, and have brought to this franchise, for 25 years. As a woman in this business, I think it’s really important for us to be valued and to fight to be valued."

Update, 11/23: Speaking out on Instagram following her firing and Jenna Ortega's departure, Barrera wrote: "First and foremost I condemn antisemitism and Islamophobia. I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people,” Barrera wrote in a statement shared via her Instagram story. “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. Every person on this earth — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status — deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom. I believe a group of people are NOT their leadership, and that no governing body should be above criticism. I pray day and night for no more deaths, for no more violence, and for peaceful co-existence. I will continue to speak out for those that need it most and continue to advocate for peace and safety, for human rights and freedom. Silence is not an option for me.”

Original post: One of horror's most iconic franchises just lost both of their leading actors. On Wednesday, Deadline broke the news that Wednesday star Jenna Ortega will not be returning for the upcoming film Scream VII, after she starred as Tara Carpenter in 2022's Scream and this year's Scream VI. The reports follow Monday's news that Melissa Barrera had been quietly fired from Scream VII due to her comments on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Variety reported that the Mexico-born actress was let go for her Instagram posts about the conflict, which referred to the situation as "genocide and ethnic cleansing."

Despite the timeline, Ortega's departure is reportedly not related to her on-screen sister Barrera's firing. Per Deadline, Ortega's exit from the upcoming Scream film was discussed before the actors' strike. She also has a busy schedule ahead, as she's set to begin work on the second season of Wednesday in April, along with a few days of filing for her role in the Beetlejuice sequel.

Barrera, who previously starred in Netflix's Keep Breathing and the 2021 film In the Heights, has been vocal about her thoughts on the conflict, making several social media posts calling for peace for Palestine. "Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp," she wrote in one Instagram story, per The Hollywood Reporter. "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."

Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera attend the world premiere of Paramount's "Scream VI" at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on March 06, 2023 in New York City.

Ortega (center) and Barrera (right) with co-star Jasmine Savoy Brown (left) at the Scream VI premiere.

(Image credit: Dominik Bindl/FilmMagic)

Spyglass Media Group, the production company behind the Scream films, released a statement to Variety regarding Barrera's firing in the wake of the initial report, as speculation rose that the Mexico-born was fired for showing support for the Palestinian cause. Instead, a spokesperson told the outlet that Barrera’s posts were interpreted as antisemitic.

"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," the statement reads.

Per Deadline, Scream VII director Christopher Landon posted and later deleted his response to the news on X (formerly known as Twitter). "This is my statement: 💔 Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make," he wrote.

On Tuesday night, Barrera shared a meaningful response to the news on her Instagram story, via an image reading, "At the end of the day, I'd rather be excluded for who I can include, than be included for who I exclude."

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Quinci LeGardye
Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.