Last week, a photo of former “Cosby Show” Star Geoffrey Owens bagging groceries at a Trader Joe’s went viral and thus the “job shaming” began. However, the shade quickly turned into support and opportunity for Owens and he has broken his silence regarding the situation speaking with #GoodMorningAmerica on Monday.
He appeared on the show, wearing his #TraderJoes name tag, and expressed how the ridicule hurt him but the shame didn’t last long. “I was really devastated but the period of devastation was so short. My wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world. Fortunately, the shame part didn’t last very long.”
Owens said he has worked at that particular New Jersey Trader Joe’s for 15 months out of necessity and the store even gave him the flexibility to pursue acting gigs. He said people would recognize him every day at the store, but they were always “cool”about it.
The crazy part is, Geoffrey Owens hasn’t even been “missing” on the acting scene, as he has recently appeared on shows such as ‘Law & Order’, ‘Blue Bloods’, ‘Lucifer’, and ‘The Blacklist’, even a guest appearance on the cable sitcom, ‘Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’ Owens also spent some time teaching at Yale University.
“I didn’t advertise that I was at Trader Joe’s, not [because] I was ashamed of it, but because I didn’t want the entertainment community to decide, ‘Well, he’s doing that. He’s not pursuing acting anymore.’ I felt like I had to be careful about that,” Owens said. You don’t wanna mess up one coin for another!
The outpouring of support from fellow actors like Terry Crews, Patricia Heaton, Blair Underwood, and Tyler Perry has kept Owens in good spirits. He stated, “It’s [the support] really overwhelming in a good way. It came out of nowhere. I really want to thank everybody out there — family, friends, the Hollywood community and the general public — for the amazing support and positivity that they’ve shown for me. It’s quite astounding. It’s very encouraging.” In response to the job shaming Owens has endured, #TylerPerry has offered a hand in getting him back on the screen regularly, tweeting, “#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.”
Geoffrey says he hopes his story changes the public’s idea about the worth of certain jobs over others.
“Every job is worthwhile and valuable. I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career so no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine.”