Press Release

Actress cancelled for Christian beliefs on sexuality to take case to the Court of Appeal

14 March 2024         Issued by: Christian Concern

Almost ten years after Seyi Omooba, then a 20-year-old student, made a Facebook post urging Christians to “love but also tell the truth of God’s word”, the legal battle continues to rage on over her subsequent cancellation from her acting career.

The wave of backlash after Miss Omooba’s old post was discovered and re-published in 2019, in which she received racist abuse and death threats, culminated in her dismissal by Leicester Curve Theatre from a star role in a performance. Her agents, Global Artists, then abruptly terminated her representation contract.

In the latest twist, Mrs Justice Eady at the Employment Appeal Tribunal has today delivered judgment which upholds the earlier judgment of Central London Employment Tribunal, which in turn vindicated her sacking by the Theatre and by the Agency.

Mrs Justice Eady has also upheld the order of the Tribunal which prohibits publication of evidence and documents which featured in the legal case.

However Miss Omooba, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, will now seek permission for a further appeal to the second highest court in England, the Court of Appeal.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This is an open and shut case of discrimination against the Christian faith if there ever was one. Seyi was racially abused, received death threats and was hounded out of her career for a polite and temperate expression of what the Bible says about marriage. An unjust ruling which defends her sacking cannot stand and we will be taking this to the Court of Appeal.”

Miss Omooba said: I have long forgiven all those who have sought to ruin my theatre career, but the theatre world needs to be told, loud and clear, that cancelling people for their Christian beliefs is illegal and wrong. From the outset, the theatre was offering to pay me off for terminating my acting contract, and I would not take that money. This case is about the freedom of Christians to hold our beliefs in the modern world, and about the truth of what has happened to me.”


The Facebook post made by Miss Omooba as a 20-year-old student in September 2014, made in the context of the government introducing same-sex marriage legislation, read:

“Some Christians have completely misconceived the issue of Homosexuality, they have begun to twist the word of God. 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 homosexual practice is right, though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean it is right. 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, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24. God loves everyone, just because He doesn’t agree with your decisions doesn’t mean He doesn’t love you. Christians we need to step up and love but also tell the truth of God’s word. I am tired of lukewarm Christianity, be inspired to stand up for what you believe and the truth #our God is three in one #God (Father) #Jesus Christ (Son) #Holy Spirit.”

Over four years later, in March 2019 Miss Omooba was given a lead role as Celie in Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome’s co-production of the award-winning musical The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker’s classic American novel.

The casting was announced the same day that Seyi went with her father, Pastor Ade Omooba, an eminent international Christian campaigner and Christian Concern’s co-founder, to Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE.

Seyi had developed her raw talent from a young age singing gospel in church and studying performing arts at Anglia Ruskin University.

She had already built up a portfolio of performances, among them parts in Hadestown at the National Theatre, Little Shop of Horrors, Spring Awakening, and had played the role of Nettie in the Cadogan Hall production of The Color Purple.

In a review of her full debut in the West End musical, Ragtime, Seyi was described as: “jaw-droppingly good, and her ferocious gospel vocals…pin you to your seat. This is her professional debut, and she’s someone to watch.” In the production of A Color Purple at Cadogan Hall, Seyi’s depiction of the character of Nettie was described as capturing the “very heart of her character.”

After the Curve Theatre announced its Colour Purple cast with Miss Omooba in the lead role in March 2019, she was tagged on Twitter by another West End performer, Aaron Lee Lambert, who is not known to her. Mr Lambert re-published a screenshot of Miss Omooba’s 2014 Facebook post, and wrote:

“@seyiomooba 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.”

Seyi received the tweet from Mr Lambert while supporting a grieving friend, and despite being deeply shocked and intimidated, refused to be drawn into an online discussion on the issue.

Calls for Seyi to be removed from the cast followed, however, as well as online abuse which included her being called a ‘nigger’. Her agency, Global Artists, received an email with a grossly obscene death threat against Seyi, which it did not report to the police and kept quiet about until being questioned in the Employment Tribunal years later.

Following discussions with Curve Theatre, Global Artists told Seyi that she might only be able to continue in her role in The Colour Purple if she retracted her Facebook post and published an apology, which she refused to do.

Leicester Curve Theatre and the Birmingham Hippodrome then released a statement on 21 March 2019 which led to Miss Omooba’s contract being terminated. The theatres claimed in their statement that: “The play and production are seeking to promote freedom and independence and to challenge views, including the view that homosexuality is a sin.”

  • Share