Earlier this year, actress Seyi Omooba landed a role in the musical The Color Purple. She was set to take the stage in Leicester and Birmingham, England.
But between acing the audition and opening the show as the character Celie, she hit a snag: An old Facebook entry by the up-and-comer turned up and up in smoke went the opportunity.
Via Twitter, an actor appearing in the West End’s Hamilton called her out over the 2014 post, which he’d screencapped.
Here’s how The Daily Mail summed it up:
In a discussion about homosexuality, she had written: ‘It is clearly evident in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 what the Bible says on this matter. I do not believe you can be born gay and I do not believe homosexuality is right…’
The sender was Aaron Lee Lambert, who stars in the West End production of Hamilton.
He particularly objected to her views because the character of Celie is seen by some readers as being gay.
He asked in his tweet: ‘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.’
A day later, her agent called.
Seyi was told “not to speak to the media and to keep [her] head down.”
She says one of the venues got in on it, too:
“Later, I was urged by the theatre and my agency to not only retract my post but apologise for what it said.”
The rather green actress was in quite a pickle.
In the end, she couldn’t “lie just to keep a job.” Her faith was more important to her.
The role slipped from her hands, as did her agent.
She reached out to six other agents for new representation, but only one responded. They noted she was “talented but misguided.”
Queerty ran the headline “Homophobic Actress Seyi Omooba Dropped from Upcoming Production of The Color Purple .”
That can’t help one’s career in theater.
The branded thespian’s planning to sue her former agents and the Curve Theatre for breach of contract.
She doesn’t believe she did anything wrong:
“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.”
The world certainly looks to be changing — not long ago, society seemed to operate much more on a civil “agree to disagree” basis.
These days, the culture looks to be getting chiseled into proper form by those tools demanding adherence to a particular point of view.
Still, Seyi informed the Mail she has gay friends on her side:
“I have support from actors that I’ve worked with, including those in same-sex relationships, who say that even though they don’t agree with my views, they know that I’m not hateful or malicious.”
She’s being represented by the Christian Legal Centre, who called Seyi’s canning cold:
“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.”
There’s room in the world for all kinds of beliefs. All kinds of convictions. And within those, there’s room for friends. Red and Blue can co-exist.
In fact, they already do — in the Color Purple.
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