jump scare

Neve Campbell won’t be returning for ‘Scream 6’ and the gays are gutted

Scream 6 isn’t set to hit theaters until spring 2023, but the highly anticipated film is already delivering jump scares with the shocking news that Neve Campbell—a.k.a. series heroine Sidney Prescott—won’t be returning.

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Originally created by gay writer Kevin Williamson, the franchise has long been a favorite of queer audiences, who immediately latched on to its wry, meta humor and its not-so-subtle metaphors about “gay survival.” A large part of the appeal has been Campbell’s anchoring performance, and Sidney’s story of triumph as she overcomes bloody, high school trauma to become a scream queen for the ages.

Related: All the hidden (and not so hidden) gay culture happening within the ‘Scream’ universe

The first question that comes to mind is: “How?” How can the series possibly go on without her? While the well-received 2022 Scream “legacyquel” (commonly known as “Scream 5”) did a fantastic job setting up a new generation of young protagonists—and suspects—Sidney’s legacy loomed large over the narrative. Her return alongside Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) gave the film a real gravitas, a real sense of history.  For all intents and purposes, Neve Campbell is the Scream franchise, so it’s almost inconceivable to imagine the story continuing without her.

The other question—”Why?”—is a little bit easier to answer, but it’s no less depressing. In a statement to Deadline, Campbell officially announced that she “sadly” wouldn’t be returning for the next Scream film after rumors began to swirl. She went on to explain the reasoning behind her difficult decision:

“As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream. I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise. It’s been a very difficult decision to move on. To all my Scream fans, I love you. You’ve always been so incredibly supportive to me. I’m forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years.”

Yes, it sounds like another case of Hollywood refusing to offer women fair pay, not to mention the star of a hit series. Per Deadline, Scream is a $744M-plus grossing global franchise, so good on Campbell for knowing her worth and standing up for herself. It just goes to show why Campbell, like Sidney Prescott, is a feminist icon.

Nevertheless, the news has totally blindsided fans of the series, and Gay Twitter™—much like Drew Barrymore in the beginning of Scream—is shouting, sobbing, and not willing to let this go without a fight. Here’s what they have to say…