Actress Fired from 'Color Purple' Production Because of Alleged Homophobic Post Sues the Theater
A British Christian actress is suing the theater after she was fired from a "Color Purple" stage production because of a 2014 post considered homophobic.
According to the BBC, Seyi Omooba is suing both the Curve Theater in Leicester and her former agents, Global Artists, for breach of contract and religious discrimination.
Omooba had been chosen to play the lead role of Celie in a theater production of the musical "The Color Purple," but that changed in March after a 2014 post where she said she did "not believe you can be born gay" resurfaced.
"What happened to Seyi Omooba was cruel and has damaged the career of a highly talented young artist"
"On all my social media I always post stuff about God or scriptures," she explained in a YouTube video. "They knew that I was Christian, and they knew my stance on marriage, on my faith, on God... on many different things that are in the Bible."
Per MadameNoire, the actress is also said to be the daughter of anti-LGTBQ pastor Ade Omooba, a vocal advocate for conversion therapy and co-creator of an evangelical group advocating for the rights of Christians.
Omooba’s post caught media attention in March after fellow stage actor Aaron Lee Lambert shared a screenshot of it to Twitter and asked:
"[Seyi Omooba] 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 was referring to Celie, the lead character of Alice Walker's 1983 novel, who pursues a romantic relationship with a female singer. Lambert’s tweet blew up, sparking accusations of homophobia against the 25-year-old actress among social media users.
Curve Theater eventually caught wind of Omooba’s resurfaced post and released a statement to announce that they were dropping her from the production.
The statement partly read:
"Following careful reflection it has been decided that Seyi will no longer be involved with the production."
"I didn't think it would get this far, in terms of termination, in terms of me losing an agent," Omooba quipped. "I've been trying to email agents, trying to get work, and it's just no response."
Now, Omooba, with backing from the Christian Legal Centre, is initiating legal action against the theater and her former agents.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the organization, told CBN News:
"What happened to Seyi Omooba was cruel and has damaged the career of a highly talented young artist for a Facebook post she had made four years earlier. This is another in a string of cases involving Christians being hounded out of their careers because they love Jesus."
Curve’s chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster, meanwhile, told the BBC they stand by their statement and have not received notice of any legal action.
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