Fans And Actors Rush To Defend Geoffrey Owens From Articles "Job-Shaming" Him

September 4, 2018
Geoffrey Owens, Red Carpet, Suit, Smile

(Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa Press/tvlandsipatb.093/1104110841)

Geoffrey Owens used to be best known for his role as Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show from 1985 to 1992.

Now, Owens has taken a new role as the poster child for "job-shaming," after photos of him working at Trader Joe's surfaced online.

Soon after the photos were published, the Daily Mail and Fox News began receiving complaints they were "job-shaming" Owens, and putting him down for taking on honest work rather than the glitz of Hollywood.  The headline for the story on Daily Mail read, "From learning lines to serving the long line!," and the article wasn't much better saying, "Wearing an ID badge bearing his name, the former star wore a Trader Joe's T-shirt with stain marks on the front as he weighed a bag of potatoes."

As the stories made the rounds, so did the outpouring of support for Owens, both from Hollywood and outside of it.  

Owens said that at first, he was "really devastated" about the attention he received after the photos were posted, but eventually, "The period of devastation was so short because so shortly after that, the responses, my wife and I started to read [them> … and fortunately the shame part didn't last very long.  It's amazing."

Owens has continued to act, teach, and direct over the last 30 years, but took the job at Trader Joe's because he wanted the "flexibility" to stay in the entertainment industry.  

He's since quit the job due to all the attention, but Owens hopes his experience will reshape "what it means to work, the honor of the working person, [and> the dignity of work."  He said, "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.  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."

Via People