Seyi Omooba, the actor removed from a production of The Color Purple after a historic Facebook post exposed her anti-gay views, has dropped planned legal action against the show’s co-producer Birmingham Hippodrome.
Omooba was removed from the musical – in which she had been due to star as Celie – in March last year, and announced legal action against co-producers Curve in Leicester and the Birmingham Hippodrome in September.
She is being represented by the legal arm of Christian Concern, the organisation co-founded by her father, pastor Ade Omooba.
A tribunal against Birmingham Hippodrome was expected to be the first to be heard as part of the action, and had been scheduled for this month.
However, this has now been withdrawn, with Christian Concern stating it has been able to reach “mutually satisfactory” terms of reference with the theatre.
A statement from Christian Concern said: “The claim against Birmingham Hippodrome theatre was filed as a precaution because it was not entirely clear which of the two theatres involved in the production was responsible for the decision to dismiss Miss Omooba.”
It added: “Leicester Curve has now accepted primary responsibility for the decision, and Miss Omooba is pursuing the claim against that theatre. Since it has transpired that Birmingham Hippodrome only played a minor role in those events, we have been able to negotiate mutually satisfactory terms of settlement with that theatre.”
Birmingham Hippodrome confirmed that the legal action against it had been dropped. Action against Curve is still going ahead, with a case scheduled for November this year.
Omooba’s Facebook post from 2014 read: “I do not believe you can be born gay, and I do not believe homosexuality is right. [Even] though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean it’s right.”
Omooba was subsequently criticised for taking the role of Celie, who has a gay relationship as part of the plot of The Color Purple.
A public outcry against her comments prompted Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome later to confirm that Omooba would no longer be performing in the show, which went on to tour in July 2019.
Following this, her online listing on the website of her talent agency Global Artists was removed. Omooba is also taking legal action against the agency.
In October last year, Alice Walker – the author of the book on which The Color Purple musical is based – spoke out about the situation, writing an open letter in which she was unequivocal that the character of Celie is gay.