Oluwaseyi Omooba, the actress fired from the Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome’s production of The Color Purple has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit over her discharge.
Omooba had initially won the leading role of Celie in the high-profile UK production, before homophobic Facebook posts from the actress came to light. Given that The Color Purple includes a lesbian relationship–Oomba’s character, Celie, is queer–producers felt she could not do the role justice. In her posts, Oomba described homosexuality as a choice, “not a right.”
Omooba’s lawsuit alleges that the producers of The Color Purple discriminated against her based on her religious views. “I just quoted what the Bible says about homosexuality, the need for repentance, but ultimately God’s love for all humanity. 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,” Omooba says. She also refuses to acknowledge that she holds homophobic views.
The lawsuit further claims that the producers pressured Omooba to apologize for her views, which she refused, prior to her termination. She further alleges that her agents dropped her after the public sacking, essentially ruining her career.
“This story sends a chilling message that if you express mainstream biblical views, you will be punished and lose your career if you do not immediately renounce your beliefs. This cannot go unchallenged and we are determined to fight for justice in this case,” said Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, the faith-based activist group representing Omooba in court.