1,300 Artists Denounce Censorship Following Melissa Barrera's Firing from 'Scream VII'

Olivia Colman, Aimee Lou Wood and Emma Seligman are among those who have signed a letter from Artists for Palestine UK

BY Nika Petrosian Published Dec 1, 2023

Over 1,300 artists have signed a letter published by Artists for Palestine UK denouncing the censorship of pro-Palestinian views in the arts and culture industry.

The letter arrives in light of Scream 7 star Melissa Barrera's firing from the production after she had called for a ceasefire and posted pro-Palestinian content on her Instagram last week — which the film's production company Spyglass viewed as "antisemitism" and "hate speech."

Artists for Palestine UK — a "growing network of artists and cultural workers standing together for Palestinian rights," according to the organization's website — addressed the letter to the "arts and culture sector" of "many cultural institutions in Western countries," accusing them of "systemically repressing, silencing and stigmatizing Palestinian voices and perspectives."

The letter also accuses Western cultural institutions of "targeting and threatening the livelihoods of artists and arts workers who express solidarity with Palestinians, as well as cancelling performances, screenings, talks, exhibitions and book launches."

In particular, Artists for Palestine UK specifically cites the cancellation of Ai Weiwei's art exhibit in London after he shared his support for Palestinians on social media. The letter also mentions the firing of Artforum's editor-in-chief, David Velasco, after he published an open letter in support of Palestine, which was "misinterpreted as a statement from the magazine," according to a statement from the publication.

Olivia Colman, Aimee Lou Wood and Emma Seligman are among the over 1,300 actors and artists who have signed Artists for Palestine UK's letter. Read it in full on the organization's website.

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