Celebrity status doesn’t equate to financial freedom but the notion exists, creating false ideas and assumptions about those who bare a talent we don’t possess. It’s also what caused many gossip and news outlets to shame former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens for having a side gig at Trader Joe’s.
On Friday (Aug. 31), a story regarding the theater actor was published by Daily Mail and shared on Fox News when customer Karma Lawrence snapped a photo of Owens working at a Trader Joe’s in Clifton, New Jersey. Lawrence, who is the wife of the store’s security manager, said she was shopping when she noticed the 57-year-old.
She went on to call the moment a “shock” to her. “It made me feel really bad. I was like, “Wow, all those years of doing the show and you ended up as a cashier,” she said.
'Cosby Show' actor Geoffrey Owens spotted bagging groceries at NJ Trader Joe's https://t.co/bhkxWYa9gq
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 31, 2018
The story was picked up by a number of outlets but that didn’t stop fans from coming to Owens defense. Owens is not only an acting teacher at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York but a consistently working actor.
He’s appeared on plenty of critically acclaimed series like Elementary, FX comedy It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, HBO’s Divorce and Blue Bloods.
He’s also been the source of inspiration for fellow working actors.
Television images often times serve as our mirrors, showing us the good, the bad, the most possible versions of ourselves. The truth. As a child this man and the entire cast of The Cosby Show took me on a journey and allowed me to see a world outside of my own. As an adult having studied under this great human being, has been nothing short of amazing. Allowing me to dream, stretch, create, and be my truest most authentic artistic self. Thank you Geoffrey Owens for being an incredible teacher, mentor, and forever friend. You keep holding that mirror up and forcing me to see myself for who I truly am and I love you dearly for that. #actingclass101 #mentorship #geoffreyowens #dothework #craft
His upcoming projects include the film Impossible Monsters and the short film Fizzle. In addition to listing his accomplishments, fans called out the outlets for shaming the actor for having a “regular job.”
Delete this. The man is trying to put food on the table and you’re trying to humiliate him? https://t.co/Uo6ierGEeC
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 31, 2018
wait… do people really think guest stars on syndicated sitcoms are bajillionaires that never have to work again??? i mean – i’m no hollywood expert, but i’m entirely certain that that’s not at all how this industry functions.
— hi, i’m cory 👋🏽 (@burncoryburn) September 1, 2018
This really pisses me off. I’m a fan of Geoffrey’s & when he’s right for something I always bring him in to read. He’s talented & I think age looks great on him!
Check out his IMDB page. He’s a working actor in NY. But guess what? Actors can’t make living wages like that anymore. https://t.co/a2sLSg68tS
— Jen Euston (@jeneuston) August 31, 2018
I know retirees, including an extended family member, who work at TJs. They pay fairly and provide benefits and a positive work environment. As a customer, I love shopping there. The customer service is outstanding.
— J.G.M. (@MainLineMaven) September 1, 2018
OUR community needs to employ #GeoffreyOwens for this disrespectful Fox News post.
This attempt to humiliate a man earning an honest living is pathetic.
“We’re all we got.” pic.twitter.com/JsJIqZ4ts3
— Isaac Hayes III (@IsaacHayes3) September 1, 2018
Can we stop taking pictures of former TV/movie stars in normal human lives long after they've been in the media? No one is looking for pity or wonder at what "they've become". You're the worst off for publicizing them. #geoffreyowens #cosbyshow
— Bad At Puns (@OnceIWanted) August 31, 2018
Owens doesn’t have a social platform, but we’re sure the fan love is well appreciated.