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Actor in The Color Purple replaced after social media post

Published: 21 March 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Seyi Omooba is to be replaced in the cast of The Color Purple after a social media post caused “significant and widely expressed concerns”.

She had been chosen to lead the cast in the Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome co-production of Oprah Winfrey’s musical which is due to open at Curve in June 2019.

But on Friday 15 March, a social media post dating from 2014 was re-posted on Twitter. Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster of Curve and Fiona Allan from Birmingham Hippodrome issued a joint statement saying the post had caused concerns “both on social media and in the wider press”.

They added, “following careful reflection it has been decided that Seyi will no longer be involved with the production. This decision was supported by the Authors and Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

“The audition process, as ever, was conducted professionally and rigorously, led by an exceptional casting director with actors who are evaluated on what they present in the audition room. We do not operate a social media screening process in the casting of actors.”

The two theatres added that no further comment would be made.