Former 'Cosby Show' Star Geoffrey Owens Speaks Out On Job Shaming Drama While Rocking Trader Joe's Badge
"It hurt, but then, it's amazing," Owens said about the attention.
September 04, 2018 at 3:33 pm
Geoffrey Owens has finally spoken out after the media shamed him for bagging groceries at Trader Joe's.
The drama began last Thursday after the wife of a security manager at a New Jersey Trader Joe's snapped a picture of Owens working a cash register. The picture went viral and several media outlets published articles lamenting the actor's downfall.
On Tuesday, Owens, sporting his Trader Joe's badge, told "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts the social media scrutiny was “devastating” but he felt encouraged by all those who came to his defense.
FULL INTERVIEW: @GMA EXCLUSIVE -- "There's no job better than another...every job is worthwhile..." Actor Geoffrey Owens speaks out, responding to job shaming and backlash after a photo of him working at a grocery store was posted online: https://t.co/0wZJnpowI9 pic.twitter.com/aNiG5fV2yf— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 4, 2018
"The period of devastation was so short because so shortly after that, the responses my wife and I started to read - literally all over the world ... fortunately, the shame part didn't last very long,” he said. "It hurt, but then, it's amazing.”
Owens’ story touched scores of people and Twitter was lit up with messages of support for the veteran actor, including some from celebrities.
I studied acting with Geoffrey Owens at New Federal Theatre some years ago. He is an AMAZING human being. I hope that this publicity leads to him to landing a major role. Until then, he's supporting his family. Leave this man alone and let him live. #actorslife #geoffreyowens https://t.co/bn5nRzQIO1— S.C. White (@surayahwhite) September 2, 2018
Dear people, Geoffrey Owens is doing what all working actors do. He’s supplementing his acting income. There is no shame in that.— Adina Porter (@AdinaPorter) September 2, 2018
Dear @FoxNews,— Cornell William Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) September 2, 2018
I was “spotted”
doing yard work,
& riding as a bike messenger.
I am also a lawyer, professor, mininster & activist.
Like #geoffreyowens & other brothers, I am NOT ASHAMED to be a “#BMW,” Black Man Working. https://t.co/v6mdTkn990
Am I missing something in the picture? The man has a job, he’s making an honest living. Why are we so judgemental... A job is job & as long as it helps pay the bills https://t.co/VYkBHysVyh— JP (@PIERREREACT) September 2, 2018
The former "Cosby Show" star also revealed he had to quit his job due to the newfound attention. He hopes this hoopla will teach the public a lesson.
“I hope that this period that we’re in now, where we have a heightened sensitivity about that, and a reevaluation of what it means to work and the idea that some jobs are better than others — that’s actually not true,” he said. “There is no job that’s better than another job. It might pay better, it might have better benefits, it might look better on a resume and on paper. But actually, it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable.”
Owens, who played Elvin on the family sitcom, said he hasn’t had an acting job which lasted more than 10 weeks since Cosby but he has kept himself busy as an acting teacher. Still, he doesn’t want anyone’s sympathy.
“No one should feel sorry for me,” he said. “I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for. So no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine!”
Owens hasn’t scored any job offers after the newfound attention but he’s fine with it.
“I wouldn’t mind getting auditions … but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone giving me a job because this happened,” he said. “I want to get a job because I’m the right person for that job.”
Meanwhile, the love continued to pour in.
#GeoffreyOwens I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist.— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) September 4, 2018
#LaborDay celebrates the value of our country’s workers; I’m just so sad to hear that an American felt the need to “expose” a man for working hard. I wish there were more people with as much integrity as #GeoffreyOwens. Love you, Geoff - keep shining!! https://t.co/N5jP7CAvVq— Halle Berry (@halleberry) September 3, 2018
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