Ebene News – GB – Seyi Omooba: the actress sacked for an anti-gay post loses her legal fight

Actress sacked for Facebook post attacking homosexuality has had her discrimination, breach of contract and harassment claim dismissed

Seyi Omooba, 26, sued Leicester’s Curve Theater and its former agents for £ 128,000 after being dismissed from a theatrical performance of The Color Purple

She was supposed to play the main character Celie, sometimes described as being in a lesbian relationship

The post was shared on social media by another actor not logged in to the play days after it was announced as part of the cast in March 2019

The entry, written when the Christian actress was 20, read: “I don’t believe you can be born gay, and I don’t think homosexuality is fair, even though the law of country made it legal doesn’t mean it’s fair “

The Central London Employment Tribunal virtual hearing learned that this sparked a backlash on social media and she was sacked by Leicester Theater Trust Ltd six days later following discussions in which Ms Omooba supported his opinions

Three days later, his contract with his agency Michael Garrett Associates Ltd (Global Artists) was also terminated

The panel learned that the theater had offered her ‘unconditional’ full pay for the role, but refused to charge the trust, instead filing a lawsuit on the grounds that she had suffered significant damage in his career for having espoused his religious beliefs

In court, she demanded £ 4,309 from the theater, plus an additional £ 25,000 for damage to feelings and reputation

She also sued her former £ 98,752 agency for loss of income, future losses, damage to feelings and damage to reputation

However, Ms Omooba’s allegations of discrimination, harassment and breach of contract were dismissed by the court

The panel rejected his suggestion that his theatrical sacking constituted discrimination against his religious beliefs

In a written judgment, he concluded that it was “the effect of the adverse publicity of the retweet [of the 2014 post], without modification or explanation, on the cohesion of the cast, the reception of the public, the reputation of the producers and the “good standing and commercial success” of the production, these are the reasons for which it was made redundant “

About the harassment complaint, he said: “In the court’s opinion, Mr. Stafford [Chris Stafford, Managing Director of Leicester Theater Trust] was not intended to violate the claimant’s dignity or create an intimidating or humiliating environment for her. His goal was to save the production “

Miss Omooba had claimed that the character’s sexuality was ambiguous and that she would have turned down the role if she had considered her gay

But this was rejected by the panel, with the panel commenting, “She had been on a similar production, she had the screenplay, and knowing that a lesbian relationship was at least an interpretation, she should have wondered a lot more early if a red line had to be crossed “

The panel also rejected Ms Omooba’s claims for loss of earnings, future losses and damage to reputation as a result of the termination of her agency contract

“There is no wasted opportunity to improve her reputation by playing, because she would not have played the role

“If there is damage to her reputation, it was not caused by her dropping out of production but by an unconnected person’s tweet from her Facebook post and the resulting outcry”

Ms. Omooba’s case was supported by the legal arm of Christian Concern, an organization co-founded by her father, Pastor Ade Omooba MBE

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the group, said: “We are disappointed with the judgment and Seyi is considering his appeal options”

The Curve Theater management team expressed satisfaction with the result after an “extremely difficult and upsetting period”

In a statement, he said: “Seyi Omooba accepted a lesbian role in our production of The Color Purple knowing full well that she would refuse to play that iconic homosexual role as a homosexual

“We believe the case was unfounded from the start and should never have gone to court

“We now look forward to drawing a line under this painful chapter and focusing our energies on how we are rebuilding our theater after the pandemic”

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Seyi Omooba, The Color Purple, Curve Theater

Ebene News – GB – Seyi Omooba: the actress sacked for an anti-gay position loses her legal fight

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-56089759