Sacked Christian actress's discrimination case heard at Employment Tribunal

The case of a Christian West End actress who was sacked after sharing her beliefs about homosexuality is being heard at Employment Tribunal this week.

Seyi Omooba was fired in 2019 from the lead role of Celie in a production of The Colour Purple in Leicester over a four-year-old Facebook post in which she said she did "not believe you can be born gay" or that "homosexual practice is right."

At the time of her firing, Miss Omooba was a rising star in the theatre scene, having had roles in Hadestown at the National Theatre, Little Shop of Horrors and Spring Awakening, as well as playing the part of Nettie in the Cadogan Hall production of The Color Purple.

Last year, she said her sacking had effectively ended her acting career. 

"Since I lost the role as Celie and was fired by my agency I have not been employed," she said.

"All doors have been intentionally closed to me and people who used to give me the time of day now ignore me. My career was more than a job to me, it was something that I loved."

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), she is suing Leicester Curve Theatre and Global Artists Agency for discrimination and breach of contract. 

The theatre had attempted to avert Miss Omooba's lawsuit by offering to pay her the full wages she would have received for playing in the performance, but Miss Omooba rejected the offer and is seeking a formal and public ruling that the theatre has acted unlawfully and discriminated against her because of her Christian beliefs.

Her case will be heard at the tribunal in London throughout this week, with both Miss Omooba and her father, Christian Concern co-founder Pastor Ade Omooba, giving evidence. 

"The case will expose the mechanisms of censorship at the heart of the theatre industry, and how any dissenting views against LGBT ideology, especially Christian beliefs, are currently incompatible with a theatrical career," the CLC said.