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‘Homophobic’ actress dropped from The Color Purple sues for religious discrimination

Emma Powys Maurice September 29, 2019

Actress Oluwaseyi Omooba chose to stand by the 'homophobic' comments she made in 2014 (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty)

The Color Purple actress Oluwaseyi Omooba is suing for religious discrimination after she was dropped from the the LGBT+ production for ‘homophobic’ comments.

Omooba was set to play the lead role in a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s award-winning novel, which is about a sexual abuse survivor who regains her confidence after developing a sexual relationship with a woman.

But she was dropped from the show after the Hamilton star Aaron Lee Lambert brought to light an offensive Facebook post that she made in 2014.

Omooba had written: “I do not believe you can be born gay, and I do not believe homosexuality is right, though the laws of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean its [sic] right.”

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)

Lambert tweeted: “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.”

Omooba was urged by Leicester’s Curve Theatre and her agency, Michael Garrett Associates, to retract the post and apologise. But she refused to do so, citing her Christian faith.

I really wanted the role but what they wanted me to do was completely against my faith. I did not want to lie just to keep a job,” she told The Daily Mail.

“I just quoted what the Bible says about homosexuality, the need for repentance, but ultimately God’s love for all humanity,” she added, adamant that she is not homophobic.

“I stand by what I wrote, but had I known that it would have come to this, I would have set my account to the privacy mode.”

Six months on, Omooba’s career is reportedly ‘in ruins’ as she is no longer invited to auditions.

“I’m heartbroken,” she said. “If I’m unable to get back to the stage, then I feel there is no point. It’s the only thing I have ever wanted since I was a young girl.”

She is now suing Michael Garrett Associates for religious discrimination “to make sure no other Christian has to go through something like this.”

Michael Garrett Associates declined to comment when contacted by The Daily Mail, but Curve Theatre said it stood by an earlier statement.

‘The comments made by Seyi have caused significant and widely expressed concerns both on social media and in the wider press,” it read. “Following careful reflection, it has been decided Seyi will no longer be involved with the production.”

 

More: musical theatre, Oluwaseyi Omooba, The Color Purple

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