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The Color Purple actress under fire over anti-gay post

Sofia Lotto Persio March 17, 2019
The Color Purple actress dropped from show for anti-gay post

Seyi Omooba was axed from an upcoming musical production of The Color Purple for an anti-gay Facebook post that she shared in 2014 (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)

The Color Purple actress Oluwaseyi (Seyi) Omooba has been accused of hypocrisy over a post in which she claimed that people cannot be “born gay” and that homosexuality isn’t “right.”

Hamilton star Aaron Lee Lambert posted on Twitter on Friday (March 15) a screenshot of a Facebook post published under Omooba’s profile in 2014 in which the actress discussed her negative views on homosexuality.

“Do you still stand by this post? Or are you happy to remain a hypocrite? Seeing as you’ve now been announced to be playing an LGBTQ character, I think you owe your LGBTQ peers an explanation. Immediately,” Lambert wrote in his tweet.

Screenshote of The Color Purple actress Seyi Omooba's Facebook anti-gay post.
Hamilton actor Aaron Lee Lambert posted Seyi Omooba’s Facebook post on Twitter. (aleelambert/Twitter)

In the lengthy Facebook post, Omooba wrote: “I do not believe you can be born gay and i do not believe homosexuality is right, though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean its [sic] right.”

She does not appear to have answered Lambert’s post. PinkNews approached Omooba for comment.

Omooba is set to play the lead role of Celie in a musical production of The Color Purple, based on the Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, the Steven Spielberg film and the Broadway production.

Celie is an abuse survivor who eventually learns how to be confident and independent after meeting Shug, a woman with whom she develops an intimate, sexual relationship.

“We will be looking into the matter and will issue a full response in due course.”

— Birmingham Hippodrome and Leicester’s Curve, who are co-producing The Color Purple

The show, co-produced by the Birmingham Hippodrome and Leicester’s Curve theatre, is due to run from July 16 to July 20.

Curve Leicester and Birmingham Hippodrome answered Lambert’s tweet releasing a joint statement, distancing themselves from Omooba’s views.

“The views expressed in the historic social media post by a member of Curve and Brum Hippodrome’s The Color Purple cast in no way reflect those held by either of our theatres. We will be looking into the matter and will issue a full response in due course,” the statement read.

LGBT+ actors and ally lament casting Seyi Omooba’s casting in The Color Purple

Other people on Twitter have expressed outrage at the actress playing Celie in virtue of her views.

Holby City actress Amy Lennox wrote in a post: “What a shame – I was excited to see this but will NOT be buying a ticket if a BIGOT is playing the role …. unbelievable that someone in our industry (where our LGBTQ community is a fundamental presence/life force in our art )can have such an insular view on LOVE”

Performer Charlotte E Yorke wrote in a Twitter thread: “Her antiquated views are wrong, not my sexuality. She doesn’t get to ‘believe’ in me. I’m not Santa. I exist, I’m gay, and I feel and am more right than ever.”

She added: “If your views truly have changed – we are here with open arms and willing to educate you on what it is to be human and not to live life through a book. But you have to acknowledge that you are not the person to tell this intricate and complicated story of love and acceptance because it belongs in the hands of someone who can inspire the community around them. Not shame them.”

Actor and writer CraigMcPhee noted the countless contributions the LGBT+ community has made to the arts.

He wrote in a Twitter post: “Dear Seyi Omooba I am deeply shocked and saddened that this is how you feel, or at least felt over the subject of homosexuality, especially considering the industry you work in, the arts without homosexuals is like a Forrest without trees.”

Actor Justin Hoult, who performed in Little Shop of Horrors with Omooba last summer, said in a statement posted on social media that, at times, he and others had felt “uncomfortable” with Omooba’s views. He also claimed she was the only cast member who refused to take part in a video for the London Pride parade because she “didn’t agree with it.”

The Color Purple actress’ father co-founded anti-LGBT pressure group Christian Concern

Omooba is the daughter of pastor Ade Omooba, co-founder the anti-LGBT pressure group Christian Concern, which supports the practice of so-called gay conversion therapy.

Pastor Omooba was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for voluntary service at Buckingham Palace on Thursday (March 14).

He used the occasion to release a video via the YouTube account of Christian Concern attacking the Equality Act and LGBT-inclusive education.

 

More: Ade Omooba, Christian Concern, Seyi Omooba, The Color Purple

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