Actress Oluwaseyi “Seyi” Omooba was cut from the U.K. production of The Color Purple because of past homophobic comments and now she’s clapping back with a lawsuit.
According to Pink News, Omooba was supposed to play the lead role of Celie who, ironically, has a queer relationship in the story. Yet, Omooba still chose to be homophobic, building off a 2014 Facebook post where she cited religion for her beliefs.
Hamilton star Aaron Lee Lambert pulled up the old post, which partly read:
“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. I do believe that everyone sins and falls into temptation but its [sic] by the asking of forgiveness, repentance and the grace of God that we overcome and live how God ordained us too [sic].”
In his tweet of the post, Lambert asked 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.”
Omooba was advised by Leicester’s Curve Theatre and her agency, Michael Garrett Associates, to retract her post and to apologize. However, she refused to do this, citing her Christian faith as an excuse.
“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.”
Omooba insisted that she’s 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.”
Riiiight. Like that would’ve helped.
Since her statements were brought to light, she was let go from The Color Purple production, and she was dropped by her agents. Omooba says when she tried to reach out to agents who were once eager to sign her, only one responded, acknowledging that she was ‘talented but misguided’ and brainwashed by her religion.
“I’m heartbroken,” Omooba 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.”
Omooba has now filed a lawsuit against Michael Garrett Associates for religious discrimination. The group hasn’t commented on Omooba’s lawsuit, but the Curve Theatre told The Daily Mail, “The comments made by Seyi have caused significant and widely expressed concerns both on social media and in the wider press. Following careful reflection, it has been decided Seyi will no longer be involved with the production.”
Guess we’ll have to wait and find out if Omooba will have any weight in court. Until then, she might want to just get started on that church production of A Color Purple. Surely, it’ll be an entirely different musical with some of the most important themes lost.