Earlier in the week, we reported that actress Oluwaseyi Omooba had been cast as queer icon Celie in the upcoming UK production of the Broadway musical of The Color Purple – despite the fact that a 2014 Facebook post resurfaced in which she referred to homosexuality as “unnatural” and “wrong.”
@Seyiomooba 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. pic.twitter.com/GK2xbzZYgy
— Aaron Lee Lambert (@aleelambert) March 15, 2019
Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome – who were co-producing the show – initially said “The views expressed… by a member The Color Purple cast in no way reflect those held by either of our theatres. We will be looking into the matter and will issue a full response in due course.”
Almost a week passed and Omooba remained a part of the cast. (And has yet to apologize)
Today, though, it was announced that she has finally been fired.
Said producers: “Following careful reflection, it has been decided that Seyi will no longer be involved with the production. This decision was supported by the authors and Theatrical Rights Worldwide… The audition process, as ever, was conducted professionally and rigorously, led by an exceptional casting director with actors who are evaluated on what they present in the audition room. We do not operate a social media screening process in the casting of actors.No further comment will be made at this time. ”
Towleroad provides a bit of context for Omooba’s hate-filled 2014 rant:
Omooba is the daughter of anti-LGBTQ pastor Adegboyega Omooba who advocates for gay conversion therapy and was recently awarded an MBE.
iNews reports: ‘Pastor Omooba has been involved in a string of anti-LGBTQ+ campaigns over the course of his career, including a failed attempt to stop anti-discrimination legislation against gay people in 2006. The legislation tackled discrimination banning hotels from refusing bookings from same-sex couples. He also campaigned against same-sex marriage, saying equal unions “devalue the meaning of marriage itself.” The pastor’s organisation Christian Concern, have rallied against LGBTQ+ equality and identities since they were first formed in 2004.’
(Top photo of Omooba: Twitter)