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The Color Purple author slams ‘homophobic’ actress who was dropped from stage show and is suing for religious discrimination

Lily Wakefield October 16, 2019
The Color Purple author Alice Walker

The Color Purple author Alice Walker attends the The Color Purple Broadway Opening Night at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on December 10, 2015 in New York City. (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

The author of The Color Purple has spoken out about the firing of actress Oluwaseyi Omooba from the stage production of the book over “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.

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

Omooba is now suing her agency, Michael Garrett Associates, for religious discrimination and has said that she stands by her comments. 

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)

According to Shadow and Act, Walker has now spoken about the incident and how it would have been problematic for Omooba to play the lead role of Celie in a correspondence sent on October 10.

She said: “Playing the role of Celie while not believing in her right to be loved, or to express her love in any way she chooses, would be a betrayal of women’s right to be free.

“As an elder, I urge all of us to think carefully about what I am saying, even as you, Oluwaseyi Omooba, sue the theatre company for voiding your contract.”

Walker also discussed how she created the character of Celie in The Color Purple, and that she was based on Walker’s grandmother.

She added: “It is safe to say, after a frightful life serving and obeying abusive men, who raped in place of ‘making love’, my grandmother, like Celie, was not attracted to men.

“She was, in fact, very drawn to my grandfather’s lover, a beautiful woman who was kind to her, the only grown person who ever seemed to notice how remarkable and creative she was.

“In giving Celie the love of this woman, in every way love can be expressed, I was clear in my intention to demonstrate that she too, like all of us, deserved to be seen, appreciated, and deeply loved by someone who saw her as whole and worthy.”

 

More: alice walker, lawsuit, Oluwaseyi Omooba, The Color Purple, Theatre

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