Geoffrey Owens did what he needed to do to support his wife and two children. But that didn’t stop Fox News and other media outlets from ridiculing him for working at New Jersey Trader Joe’s between acting gigs.
Owens said the job not only allowed him to have a steady paycheck, but gave him the flexibility to audition, The Grio reported.
He told “Good Morning America” Tuesday that he’d been working there for 15 months and that people did recognize him.
The spotlight cast by the news outlets backfired, with other actors supporting Owens, who played Elvin on “The Cosby Show,” by sharing the side jobs they had to take to make ends meet, even while working on a hit television show.
Patricia Heaton, who starred on “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle,” said she was summarizing depositions to pay rent while she was on “Thirtysomething.”
Again, why is this news? When I worked on “Thirtysomething” I was also summarizing depositions to pay my rent. Why are you trying to humiliate this honorable, hardworking actor? Shame on you! #geoffreyowens - many great blessings are coming your way! https://t.co/8tgvW3iixr— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) September 2, 2018
Terry Crews, who left an NFL career, swept floors.
Luis Guzman shared was a social worker on the Lower East Side in New York City.
So you know back in the day I was a Social worker on the Lower East Side NYC and pursuing an acting career...I Loved working with my Humanity and Humanity has always Loved Me Back...The hustle is real as in gratitude...#ActorsWithDayJobs— Luis Guzman (@IamLuisGuzman) September 3, 2018
Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter series of films, said he worked in a kitchen after the films ended.
I worked in a Wetherspoons kitchen after being in Harry Potter. I needed a job, no shame in that. And you know what? I really enjoyed it! You do what you need to do and that's nothing to be ashamed of. https://t.co/1RI8sltHMe— Chris Rankin (@chrisrankin) September 1, 2018
Still others shared what they do between acting jobs.
I have the utmost admiration & respect for #GeofferyOwens 🙏🏻 In my time on General Hospital I’ve been a personal trainer, delivered groceries, made smoothies & sold real estate...these jobs don’t define me but my effort to provide for my family does. https://t.co/MMjj3XgFld— Drew Cheetwood (@dcheetwood) September 3, 2018
I had been a working actor for years. Jobs stopped, as they do. I worked in retail. At a flower shop. I passed out flyers. It’s about the work. Work gives you pride and purpose. Your visibility as an actor never goes away. But the money sure does. #geoffreyowens pic.twitter.com/BBzZaBrGBx— Pamela Adlon (@pamelaadlon) September 2, 2018
Tyler Perry, after the story started trending, offered Owens a new job on a show for OWN, The Grio reported.
#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
Trader Joe’s job isn’t the only one Owens has held since his days on “The Cosby Show” ended. He also worked at Yale, teaching acting classes, according to The Grio, as well as, being featured on recent shows of “Elementary,” “The Blacklist” and “Lucifer.”
Owens appeared on “Good Morning America” to talk about the story and how so many people reached out, saying that it has been overwhelming.
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