Seyi Omooba Dropped from THE COLOR PURPLE Following Homophobic Social Media Posts
Last Friday, on Twitter, Hamilton actor Aaron Lee Lambert shared a screenshot of a Facebook post by Oluwaseyi (Seyi) Omooba - who had just been announced as playing Celie in Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome's revival of musical The Color Purple.
In the post, which was published in 2014, Omooba discusses her interpretation of Christianity and sexuality, and offered negative views of homosexuality, saying that people can't be "born gay".
Lambert questioned whether she still holds such views, given her casting as the iconic lead of an important LGBTQ work.
@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
Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome have responded, stating that Omooba has been removed from the cast of The Color Purple:
"On Friday 15 March a social media post dating from 2014, which was written by the The Color Purple cast member Seyi Omooba, was re-posted on Twitter. The comments made by Seyi in that post have caused significant and widely expressed concerns both on social media and in the wider press.
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."
Omooba, whose recent credits include that National Theatre's Hadestown and Regent's Park Open Air's Little Shop of Horrors, has yet to comment.
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