A devoutly Christian actress who was fired after 2014 Facebook posts regarding homosexuality were dug up by another actor has been ordered by a judge to pay the equivalent of roughly $414,000 in legal fees after being told her claims of discrimination, breach of contract, and harassment would not go forward.
The BBC reported that Seyi Omooba was set to play a lead role in a stage production of The Color Purple in the United Kingdom when another actor, who was not involved in the play, found comments she had made regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.K.
The actor, Aaron Lee Lambert, shared screenshots of one of her posts to Twitter as Omooba had just been cast as Celie, a character that many have interpreted to be a lesbian based on a close relationship she has with another woman.
@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. pic.twitter.com/GK2xbzZYgy
— Aaron Lee Lambert (@aleelambert) March 15, 2019
Omooba, however, says she was not told the character would be portrayed as a homosexual. Indeed, this had not been the case in the classic 1985 Steven Spielberg film version of the Alice Walker novel. And indeed, as CBN notes, the actress who played Celie in the film, Whoopi Goldberg, did not believe her character to have been a lesbian.
“Not really about feminism, or lesbianism, despite the fact that Celie finds out about love and tenderness from another woman….It has nothing to do with lesbianism. It has to do with, her eyes are opened, now she understands,” Goldberg said.
The BBC reports that the “tribunal heard [the tweet] sparked a social media backlash and she was dropped by Leicester Theatre Trust Ltd six days later, following discussions in which she stood by her views.”
“Her contract with her agency, Michael Garrett Associates Ltd (Global Artists), was also terminated three days later,” they also note.
The panel was told she had been “unconditionally” offered her full salary for the role by the theatre but refused to invoice the trust, instead bringing legal action on the grounds she had suffered extensive career damage for espousing her religious beliefs.
At the tribunal she sought £4,309 from the theatre plus a further £25,000 for injury to feelings and reputational damage.
She also sought £98,752 from her agents for loss of earnings, future losses, injury to feelings and reputational damage.
The panel rejected these demands.
“There is no financial loss because she would not have played the part,” the judgment said.
Omooba was also accused of having “not done her homework or been paying attention, and that she still thought of the work in the frame of the Spielberg film.”
The actress and her attorneys, however, had argued that Leicester Curve Theatre and Global Artists Agency misled her before she would then go on to become the subject of yet another Twitter outrage mob tribunal during which her name was smeared, a misleading professional agreement breached, and she experienced the kind of cruel harassment that has gotten all too common in today’s angrily secular popular culture.
“In the film, the lesbian theme is not present at all, there is one kiss between the female characters which can be interpreted in all sorts of ways,” Attorney Pavel Stroilov explained.
“It is in no way obvious and was never made clear to the claimant that she was expected to play a lesbian character. She was never asked explicitly to play this character as a lesbian.”
“Indeed, Seyi’s case is not merely another example of anti-Christian censorship and discrimination in modern Britain. It throws a dramatic limelight on the darker depths of 21st-century totalitarianism. Where stabbing a colleague in the back is not merely within the norm, but a professional duty. Where having once deviated in your mind from the ideological orthodoxy, you cannot trust anyone or anything: even a favorite book of your adolescence may be suddenly re-interpreted to become an indictment against you,” Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said of the judgement.
“This was an unusual case for Christian Legal Centre, with unusual strengths and unusual weaknesses. On one view, this should have been simply an open and shut case of unlawful religious discrimination. Seyi was dismissed because of her Christian beliefs, and that is the end of the matter – the law does not accept any excuses for that. However, because Seyi’s legal case was so strong, it was fought very fiercely by the woke Establishment. Because it was fought so fiercely, it takes some time to uncover the true story under the layers of ferocious propaganda,” she explained.
“The Tribunal has effectively joined the campaign of ‘canceling’ Seyi for her Christian beliefs. She and we are not intimidated and have appealed this shocking judgment which is a travesty of reality,” she added.
The BBC also noted that Omooba has been ordered to pay £53,839 and £259,356 respectively to her former agency and the production company, but that “she could pay less subject to an assessment.”
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