Seyi Omooba, the Nigerian-born Christian actress who was sacked from a stage show over a homophobic social media post, has lost a five-year discrimination case.


The 29-year-old UK-based actress was expected to perform as Celie — a lesbian role — in a stage production of The Color Purple in 2019.

In the stage play, Celie is engaged in a sexual relationship with another female character called Shug.

She was, however, dropped from the role following a social media post stating her views that homosexuality is a sin.


Aaron Lee Lambert, a fellow actor, shared Omooba’s 2014 post wherein she condemned LGBT.

In the post, the actress had said she did “not believe homosexuality is right” and that people were “not born gay”.

“I do not believe you can be born gay, and I do not believe homosexuality is right, though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean it’s right,” the post reads.


“I do believe that everyone sins and falls into temptation but it’s by the asking of forgiveness, repentance and the grace of God that we overcome and live how God ordained us to, which is that a man should leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.”


Lambert asked if Omooba stood by her post, given her casting as “an LGBTQ character.”

The post generated heated controversy, forcing her employer to sever ties with the actress.

Omooba took Leicester Theatre Trust and Global Artists, her former talent agency, to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on the grounds of religious discrimination and a breach of contract. She also argued that she was the victim of religious discrimination.

The actress told the tribunal she had read the book at school and watched Steven Spielberg’s film version of the stage play, starring Whoopi Goldberg.


When questioned during the tribunal, Omooba claimed that she had based her understanding of Celie on reading the novel at school and performing in a concert version of the musical.

Omooba, however, lost at the tribunal after she admitted that she had not read the script before accepting the lead role. The film star claimed she was not aware the character was gay and would not have gone through with appearing in the play if she had.

Tribunal judges said her discrimination claims, breach of contract, and harassment had no prospect of success.

The tribunal held that she had “not done her homework or been paying attention, and that she still thought of the work in the frame of the Spielberg film”.


They ordered her to pay costs to her former agency and Curve in Leicester, where she was due to perform.

The actress appealed the tribunal’s decision, including its ruling that she must pay more than £300,000 in legal costs.

The actress grew up in a committed Christian family of Nigerian origin. Ade Omooba, her dad who is a pastor, is a co-founder of Christian Concern, an evangelical group supporting the rights of Christians.

During the latest hearing at the tribunal, Omooba argued that the tribunal’s dismissal of her case and the ordering of costs were wrong.

Eady P, the judge, however, disagreed with her, saying she was in “repudiatory breach of her express obligations”.

“[She] knew she would not play a lesbian character, but had not raised this with the theatre, or sought to inform herself as to the requirements of the role of Celie,” the judge added.

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