The leading actor from an upcoming UK production of The Color Purple has been dropped following her homophobic comments.
Oluwaseyi ‘Seyi’ Omooba came under fire over the weekend for a re-surfaced social media post she made in 2014.
Omooba recently landed the lead role of Celie in the upcoming Curve Leicester and Birmingham Hippodrome production of the musical.
Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster from the Curve, and Fiona Allan on behalf of Birmingham Hippodrome, released a statement about Omooba’s future with the show.
‘On Friday 15 March a social media post dating from 2014, which was written by The Color Purple cast member Seyi Omooba, was re-posted on Twitter,’ they wrote.
‘The comments made by Seyi in that post have caused significant and widely expressed concerns both on social media and in the wider press.’
The statement continued, announcing Omooba’s departure from the show: ‘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.’
How the controversy began
Hamilton actor Aaron Lee Lambert originally shared the old post on Twitter, asking: ‘Do you still stand by this post? Or are you happy to remain a hypocrite?’
He also noted Omooba owed ‘your LGBTQ peers an explanation’ due to her recent casting in The Color Purple.
In both Alice Walker’s original novel and the musical adaptation, Celie develops a relationship with another woman.
Omooba’s 2014 post posited ‘Christians have misconceived the issue of Homosexuality’.
Omooba is the daughter of anti-LGBTI pastor, Adegboyega Omooba. His group Christian Concern advocates for conversion therapy and warns of the ‘LGBTI agenda’,
‘I do not believe you can be born gay, and I do not believe homosexuality right, though the law of this land has made it legal does not mean it’s right,’ she continued in the Facebook post, which has since been taken down.
She concluded: ‘I am tired of lukewarm Christianity.’