Tyler Perry offers 'Cosby Show' actor a job after public shaming

Wednesday, 05 Sep, 2018

Geoffrey Owens is touched by the outpouring of support he's received after photos of him bagging groceries at a New Jersey Trader Joe's were published by multiple outlets. Nearly instantly, the story went viral and several Hollywood notables and fans alike came to Owens' aid, supporting him and his lifestyle of maintaining honest work.

- Cornell William Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) September 2, 2018Am I missing something in the picture? "With the love and support he's getting from everybody, he's about to get more work".

"Like #geoffreyowens & other brothers, I am NOT ASHAMED to be a "#BMW", Black Man Working. 'Actors so very rarely have job security or consistent work, quality healthcare, a reasonable retirement.

But several actors pointed out they have to make a living between gigs and places that offered health insurance were especially attractive. Let me tell you something.

Once his own moment in the headlines passes, Owens hopes people retain a new way of thinking about what it means to work. "They want to lift people up". In fact, the only person who didn't seem to be upset was Owens himself, who insisted that it was a good job and he was doing just fine.

And as if Owens needed anything else to underscore how he's handled this whole situation with grace and aplomb, he did the interview while wearing his Trader Joe's name tag on his blazer. I don't mind if people call me to try out for things, due to what's happened...

Tyler Perry invited Geoffrey Owens to join his show after the former Cosby Show star was shamed for working at Trader Joe's.

It's been a cool 26 years since The Cosby Show stopped filming. Owens notes there has been "some interest" aroused by his odd, new form of celebrity, but "I wouldn't feel comfortable getting actor jobs from [it]". "Most of those jobs were theater jobs that pay a lot less than television and film".

"I was really devastated, but the period of devastation was so short", he said.

Owens explained that work in the notoriously rough entertainment industry wasn't enough to sustain him financially, so he took the supermarket gig about 15 months ago to fill the gaps while still seeking acting and teaching roles.

Owens played Elvin on the show.

"I lost a lot of money from that, yes", Owens said. No one has to feel sorry for me. "But the fact is that was another contributing factor, along with everything else everyone has to deal with - medical bills, auto issues, kids in college, you name it". "Honestly, this might sound weird but I wouldn't feel comfortable getting acting jobs from this event", he said. "I kind of feel like that character in the Woody Allen movie who wakes up and he's a celebrity all of a sudden and has no idea where it came from", he told GMA's Robin Roberts.