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Fired Color Purple actress sues for religious discrimination - Page 4

imeldasturn Profile Photo
Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/8/14
She had already played Nettie in a concert version of the show at Cadogan Hall a couple of years ago, so she clearly knew that homosexuality is an important theme of the show. For being such a devoted Christian she seems to break the eight commandment a lot.
The Distinctive Baritone Profile Photo
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/28/04
They kiss in the movie? Wow okay so this girl obviously hadn’t seen the movie either. And she’s still pursuing legal action? She would have quit anyway. What an idiot.
Joshua Rosenthal
Stand-by | Joined: 8/13/17

The Distinctive Baritone said: "So...according to the article, if she had apologized for the post, she might have been able to keep the job, but she refused??? This girl is in the wrong business."

True. I don’t understand her logic at all, but like, did she even know who Celie is at all? How she kisses a woman onstage and shred a love duet with her?? This actress is so stupid and now that she’s suing she’s making it worse for herself. 

NotTheComfyChair Profile Photo
Stand-by | Joined: 3/19/13

I won't weigh in on the religious discrimination issue. I would just post an article in The Stage who are covering the tribunal. It may provide some clarity for some of the posters in this thread.


The Stage Feb 3, 2021 by Georgia Snow - Full link below.

Seyi Omooba has denied that appearing in a concert production of The Color Purple meant she was aware of the lesbian storyline in the show, a tribunal has heard.

The actor, who was dropped from a production of the musical at Curve in 2019 after anti-gay comments she made on Facebook were reshared online, said that in hindsight she now appreciates the sexual themes in the play but did not understand them as such at the time.

She is suing Curve and her former agency Global Artists, who also dropped her in 2019, for £128,000.

Prior to being cast as Celie in Curve’s production, Omooba had performed the role of Nettie – Celie’s sister – in a concert version at London’s Cadogan Hall in 2017.

During virtual proceedings at the Central London Employment Tribunal, Omooba reiterated comments made yesterday (February 2) that her understanding of Celie’s character was drawn from reading the novel – which the musical is based on – while at school, and from performing as Nettie in the concert version.

She said that from these experiences, she had concluded that Celie "is a complicated woman, who has a distorted view because of rape and finds solace in a woman who shows her she can be loved", but maintained that she did not believe this love was sexual.

Omooba was questioned by Christopher Milsom QC, representing Global Artists, who asked how she could have performed as part of a production in which the character of Celie kisses another female character on stage, and not recognise the lesbian theme of the story.

Omooba initially replied that she was not on stage at the time of the kiss, but later said she was "at the side but wasn’t watching the whole time" and did not remember a kiss. This was after Milsom said he had spoken to several members of the concert’s creative team who claimed that Omooba did not leave the stage during the performance.

Earlier in the day during questioning by Curve’s representative Tom Coghlin QC, she said that she now accepts that there is a romantic relationship between the two female characters but this was not the case previously.

"In rereading it now it was evident that there was some lesbian attraction there, and I didn’t reread the script when taking the role," she said.

Omooba has already claimed that she did not read the script before being cast in Curve’s production, and only did so recently, which meant that she interpreted the character in a different way.

"Whether or not you find a different way of rationalising it, it is obvious, if you know this script from rehearsals, if you know the book, it is obvious that there is a real likelihood that this would be interpreted by many people in the theatre that this is a lesbian relationship," Coghlin said, to which Omooba replied: "No. If it was I wouldn’t have been able to play it."

Omooba has indicated that she would have refused to play the role had the show’s creative team insist that she play the character as a lesbian.

She was later asked about the circumstances surrounding her dismissal, and the tribunal heard how Omooba drafted several versions of a statement to be released when social media criticism of her post was growing. No personal statement from Omooba was shared at the time.

According to evidence released alongside the tribunal, earlier versions of Omooba’s planned statement said her intention "was not to cause offence" but to describe her views as a Christian, however these were omitted in later iterations. In all versions she said she would stand firm in her beliefs.

Emails submitted as evidence said Curve did not release the final statement sent to them because "it is not a retraction and so we cannot do any joined up response at this stage". Omooba did not release the statement herself either.

It reads: "The law protects my freedom of expression as well as freedom of thought, conscience and religion. With regard to the role of Celie, I will not disregard that Celie falls in love with Shug or that Celie believes in God and is black. There is so much to Celie. The role of an actor is to play characters different from myself. As for the personal faith, I will stand firm."

In questioning about this statement, Omooba said she understood that Celie falling in love was "a different kind of love" than her feelings towards her mother or sister, but rejected the suggestion she thought it was sexual love.

"No, in my mind that’s not what it was" she said.

The tribunal will continue for the remainder of this week.'

uncageg Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/13/04

So my understanding is that the novel includes sexual encounters between Shug and Celie. So did she really read the book? If so, what did she think was going on? She is starting to back herself in a corner.

Just give the world Love.
Updated On: 2/9/21 at 01:02 PM
CarlosAlberto Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/29/10

Reading the book aside, did she even read the whole script? Did she not read the stage directions that indicate a kiss between Celie and Shug. I mean is this woman really that willfully ignorant?

Alexander Lamar
Featured Actor
Featured Actor | Joined: 2/16/16
She’s a liar and her story will keep changing to try to make herself the victim.
Kad Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/5/05
Even the most cursory of research on The Color Purple brings up its depiction of homosexuality.

And this isn’t an obscure book, here in the US or in the UK. It’s the ****ing Color Purple. It’s exceedingly well known and has been in the public consciousness for decades.

Claiming to be unaware of its well-documented content doesn’t fly.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Scott Stephen
Swing | Joined: 10/21/19
As someone who has read the book multiple times, I can easily say the lesbian romance is far more apparent there than the movie or the musical. Walker gives several accounts of their sexual escapades, their kisses that Celie enjoys, and even a line at some point from Shug saying “We’re each other’s people now”. I have no idea how this woman got the idea that Celie wasn’t a lesbian from reading the book.
Bettyboy72 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/31/06
I saw the movie as a little kid. While it was demure, even as a child it was clear to me that Celie was a lesbian and Shug was bi.

Also this woman was in a concert version of the show? How did she miss What About Love?!?!?
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
Swing | Joined: 2/8/21
Hello everyone,
Don't think things will go great for her, in 2011 the High Court already ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation should take precedence over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds...
Leading Actor
Leading Actor | Joined: 2/1/14
She sounds like either a very stupid person, or a horrible one.

She will never work in theatre ever again after this, and rightly so. She tried to get into the wrong industry if she thinks gay people are ‘wrong’.
Featured Actor
Featured Actor | Joined: 8/7/11

She has NO idea what religious discrimination is! She needs to talk to a Holocaust survivor,like of my aunts who was in Auschwitz and had a number on her arm. Or she needs to ask a Muslim about how they were treated after 9/11.

Updated On: 2/10/21 at 05:33 PM
NOWaWarning Profile Photo
Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 2/1/16

brian1973 said: "She sounds like either a very stupid person, or a horrible one."

Porque no los dos?

imeldasturn Profile Photo
Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/8/14

Omooba's claims against the theatre have been rejected by an employment tribunal. The Curve has issued a very gracious statement:

Fired Color Purple actress sues for religious discrimination

Plannietink08 Profile Photo
Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 6/2/11
I was in absolute disbelief that this woman genuinely thought she would win this case by saying she had no clue Celine was a lesbian, despite being in the show before, and then saying she would have pulled out of the role eventually.

Like. What?! An actual law team came up with that idea and thought they were onto a winner? Beggars belief.

I honestly hope she learns from this and changes her views which have obviously been thrust upon her by her father.
"Charlotte, we're Jewish"
ggersten Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/11/06
She was not represented by a legal team. Reportedly, she was represented by a colleague of her father and his religious organization.