Well, this is awkward. “The Color Purple” was written by a queer woman, the legendary Alice Walker. Much of the story is rooted in a same-sex relationship, especially the musical and the novel (Walker was famously outraged that Steven Spielberg downplayed the relationship between characters Shug Avery and Miss Celie in the film).
Now, an open homophobe has been cast to play Miss Celie in the musical being performed in London.
It was announced that Oluwaseyi Omooba will play Celie in Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome’s co-production of the Broadway musical of “The Color Purple.” See below:
However, 2014 social media posts from Omooba have surfaced saying LGBTQ people are unnatural and worse.
“Hamilton” actor Aaron Lee Lambert wrote directly to her on Twitter: “
@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.”
In the 2014 post, Omooba wrote, “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 its [sic] right.” See below:
Omooba’s father is reportedly a pastor who advocates for gay conversion therapy.
“Pastor Omooba has been involved in a string of anti-LGBTQ+ campaigns over the course of his career, including a failed attempt to stop anti-discrimination legislation against gay people in 2006. The legislation tackled discrimination banning hotels from refusing bookings from same-sex couples,” iNews reported. “He also campaigned against same-sex marriage, saying equal unions ‘devalue the meaning of marriage itself.’ The pastor’s organization Christian Concern, have rallied against LGBTQ+ equality and identities since they were first formed in 2004.”
The theater company released the following statement in response to Omooba’s social media posts.
“On Friday a social media post from 2014 by one of THE COLOR PURPLE cast members was brought to our attention. The views shared in this post do not in any way reflect the views of Curve or Birmingham Hippodrome. We are continuing to investigate this and a full statement will be issued as a matter of priority,” it said.
Omooba had not responded to the controversy as of Monday afternoon. Obviously, she is allowed to feel however she wants but it would be bizarre for someone to spit such wildly anti-LGBTQ beliefs to play a queer character created by a queer woman who has inspired many people in the LGBTQ community.