Original Scream stars Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy have voiced their support for Neve Campbell after the actor walked away from the sixth film in the horror franchise because of a salary dispute.
On Sunday (June 12), Lillard stood up for Campbell via Twitter after advocating for her in an interview last week.
In the first Scream film, Lillard starred as high school student Stu Macher opposite Campbell’s protagonist, Sidney Prescott.
“The fact that Neve Campbell isn’t getting paid her worth is straight up sexism,” the Scooby-Doo actor tweeted. “I think it’s horrible. There. I said it.”
Lillard’s latest comments came on the heels of a Twitter Spaces conversation he had with Midnite Movie Club, during which he compared Campbell’s trajectory in the Scream franchise to Tom Cruise’s in the Top Gun movies.
“Did Tom Cruise take less money for (Top Gun: Maverick’)? (Expletive) no dude,” Lillard said.
“So why is a woman supposed to take less? Why wouldn’t you pay her more as the series goes on?… Was Scream 5 a hit or not a hit? It was a smash hit. Did they make a s— ton of money? Yes.”
The Robot Chicken voice actor, who also made cameos in a couple of the Scream sequels, called the circumstances of Campbell’s departure infuriating while hailing his former cast mate as “a female lead of one of the most successful horror franchises”.
“Should Neve Campbell be paid for the work she’s done in five movies of a franchise?” he said. “Yes.”
Kennedy, who played Randy Meeks in four of the five Scream films, also defended Campbell last week in a YouTube video, crediting his former co-star as “the original final girl.”
In the horror genre, the term “final girl” refers to a brave female character – such as Campbell’s Sidney Prescott – who survives against all odds to confront the killer at the end of the movie.
“Sidney Prescott is the centre of Scream,” Kennedy said.
“Neve Campbell is the face of Scream…. The franchise gets rebooted. The franchise is more popular than ever…. How can you make Scream without Sidney Prescott?… It’s her story, her POV, her pain. Everything is her. She’s the heroine.”
Earlier this month, Campbell confirmed in a statement that she would not be returning for Scream 6 after contract negotiations for the next instalment went south.
Other legacy Scream stars – including Courteney Cox and Hayden Panettiere – are set to reprise their roles for the forthcoming film, which is slated to open on March 31, 2023. Jenna Ortega of Scream 5 is also set to return.
“As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream,” Campbell said.
“I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.” – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service