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Actor unceremoniously axed from The Color Purple for saying being gay ‘isn’t right’ drops legal action

Reiss Smith January 3, 2020
The Color Purple actor Seyi Omooba

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

Seyi Omooba, who was fired from a stage production of The Color Purple due to anti-LGBT+ remarks, has dropped her legal action against a Birmingham theatre.

Omooba was due to play Celie (portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1985 film) in a new stage adaptation of The Color Purple, a story about sexual abuse survivor who regains her confidence after falling for another woman.

She was fired from the play in March 2019 it emerged she had written on Facebook: “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.”

Omooba announced in September that she would take legal action against co-producers Curve Theatre in Leicester and the Birmingham Hippodrome over her dismissal.

A tribunal against the Hippodrome was scheduled for this month, however Omooba has now withdrawn her claim after reaching “mutually satisfactory” terms.

A statement from Omooba’s legal representatives Christian Concern, an organisation co-founded by her father, explained that the claim was dropped because Curve “has now accepted primary responsibility for the decision, and Miss Omooba is pursuing the claim against that theatre”.

A statement given to The Stage said: “The claim against Birmingham Hippodrome theatre was filed as a precaution because it was not entirely clear which of the two theatres involved in the production was responsible for the decision to dismiss Miss Omooba.

“Since it has transpired that Birmingham Hippodrome only played a minor role in those events, we have been able to negotiate mutually satisfactory terms of settlement with that theatre.”

Birmingham Hippodrome confirmed to PinkNews that the legal action had been dropped.

The Color Purple actor will still take action against Leicester theatre and talent agent.

Omooba will continue her legal action against Curve, with a case scheduled for November.

Chris Stafford, the theatre’s chief executive and Nikolai Foster, its artistic director, told PinkNews: “Curve has been notified that legal proceedings against Birmingham Hippodrome have been dropped.

“We stand by our decision regarding Seyi Omooba’s involvement in The Color Purple and will not be making any further comment at this stage.”

Omooba is also taking legal action against her former talent agency, Global Artists, which she says removed her from its books without offering her the two month’s notices to which she claims she is entitled to. PinkNews has contacted Global Artists for comment.

Actor Seyi Omooba refused to apologise for anti-LGBT+ remark because of her faith.

After Omooba’s anti-LGBT+ post resurfaced, she was reportedly given the chance to apologise, but refused to.

“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 continued, adding that she was adamant that she is not homophobic.

Following the row, Omooba said her career lies “in ruins”.

“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.”

More: Homophobia, Seyi Omooba, The Color Purple

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