by WorldTribune Staff, April 2, 2021
A British actress who was fired over her Christian beliefs on sexuality has been ordered to pay $480,000 in legal costs in a decision which a Christian group said elicits “the darker depths of 21st century totalitarianism.”
Seyi Omooba was contracted by Leicester Curve Theatre to play the lead role in “The Colour Purple” and reviewers described her performance as “jaw-droppingly good” with “ferocious gospel vocals.”
But Omooba was fired after someone did a deep dive into her Facebook posts and found a four-year-old post in which she affirmed the biblical view of homosexuality.
Omooba sued for discrimination, but an Employment Tribunal concluded “it was unreasonable for her even to complain, and on that basis, ordered her to pay the full legal costs incurred by her opponents,” said Andrea Williams, chief executive for Christian Concern.
Williams said it should have been an open-and-shut case, but Omooba was up against a “PR campaign” by Curve Theatre and the agency that fired her, Global Artists.
They drummed up “support from the vociferous movement of ‘LGBTQ+ and allies’, and hired aggressive heavyweight barristers to attempt a very public character assassination in the witness box,” Williams said.
During her three years of acting, Williams said, Omooba made no secret of her faith, having “told her agent, early on, that there were things she was unwilling to do on stage: mock religion, participate in sexually explicit scenes, or play lesbian characters.”
Williams said, after the old Facebook post was made public, “the social media mob” was calling out the Curve Theatre for failing to deal with “the homophobe.”
The tribunal, Williams said, “has now given its stamp of official approval to everything the Theatre and the Agency have done to Seyi.”
Williams said the costs are some 15 times more than the usual tribunal case, apparently because the defendants were “so concerned about it that they hired the most expensive solicitor firms, a specialist QC and senior counsel to defend what they now try to make out was a hopeless case.”
The arguments against Omooba included that her beliefs “were not worthy of respect in a democratic society, and of legal protection,” Williams said.
“Nowadays, none of us are safe from a similar test being suddenly imposed on us when we least expect it,” Williams warned. “God help us to pass it as faithfully and graciously as she did. The latest twist in the sorry tale, that is worthy of a novel or a musical (the end is not yet written) is that the barristers for the Theatre and Agency have come after Seyi for £350K costs.”
The new totalitarianism, Williams noted, is “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.”