I don’t know #GeoffreyOwens— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) September 2, 2018
I know this -
Almost every successful actor, singer, athlete or celebrity, is one lucky (unlucky) break away from bagging groceries themselves.
Few would admit it.
Fewer humble enough to do it.#RealLife > #FakeLife#TraderJoes > #CosbyShow
A man working a respectable day job to support his finances is not news — except if you’re living in Fox News’ universe.
When “The Cosby Show’s” star Geoffrey Owens was spotted “bagging groceries” at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey, he was not doing anything that should have resulted in news articles. Yet, it did, thanks to Fox News and The Daily Mail.
Although popular for his role as Elvin Tibideaux on NBC’s hit comedy series, “The Cosby Show,” which ended in 1992, Owens has continued working on as an actor, doing several projects as recent as last year.
But like many creative lines, a lot of artists work two, even three jobs when they hit a rough patch. Work is not constant and you don’t get paid regularly. It is not out of the ordinary for artists to work other jobs — in fact, the practice is quite common.
Apart from that, Owens is a Yale University graduate who often teaches in the New York and New Jersey area.
However, when a customer, Karma Lawrence, spotted the actor at a local Trader Joe’s and thought it was sad “he ended up as a cashier,” Daily Mail and Fox News decided to exploit the non-story. The two organizations penned separate articles, both with a rather condescending tone, almost as if it were a matter of shame Owens was working an honorable job.
Understandably, the pieces incited Twitter users’ wrath.
They were widely panned for the needless story about a man going by his daily routine and working to make ends meet.
Many celebrities and well-known personalities (including usual pro-Fox, conservative actor James Woods and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch) slammed the media outlets for shaming Owens.
Dear @FoxNews,— Cornell William Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) September 2, 2018
I was “spotted”
doing yard work,
& riding as a bike messenger.
I am also a lawyer, professor, mininster & activist.
Like #geoffreyowens & other brothers, I am NOT ASHAMED to be a “#BMW,” Black Man Working. https://t.co/v6mdTkn990
Before they discovered he was actually holding down a job, I guess Fox News was hoping Geoffrey Owens was on welfare and carried a fake passport— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) September 1, 2018
I’m so angry at the shaming in this tweet. Let’s talk about working hard at whatever job, without judgement. I worked at @DairyQueen and @kfc - served drinks at #86stMusucHall was a coatcheck girl at #kitsPub - proudly supported myself and saved. Share yours #geoffreyowens https://t.co/Ga1pvpwRDa— Jody Vance (@jodyvance) September 1, 2018
So, 26 years after one TV job, this guy looks differently (shock) and is earning an honest living at a Trader Joe’s. The people taking his picture and passing judgment are trash. https://t.co/OUbOORk6jW— Justine Bateman (@JustineBateman) September 1, 2018
And he’s making more money than Cosby these days. Good for him. Now maybe some casting director will take note of a fine man who swallows his pride and is willing to work. #GeoffreyOwens https://t.co/B1rkk5vLjC— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 2, 2018
I hate stories like this. He’s a man working hard, there’s shame in publishing this story but not in this man’s job. https://t.co/ZaNxPAfjQu— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) August 31, 2018
I worked with Geoffrey Owens about 10 years ago on a little Indy film. He’s one of the sweetest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. I’m appalled that people are taking shots at him for working a “regular job.” 2 or 3 times a year I consider walking away from— Paul Campbell (@ThePaulCampbell) September 2, 2018
If I wasnt sharing income w my hubs, Id have been working additional jobs for 99.9% my ten year career as an actor. It’s called a #sidehustle and almost everyone I know has one. Ain’t no shame in paying your bills and earning decent benefits from your employer. #GeoffreyOwens— Anna Wood (@annawoodyall) September 2, 2018
There is no shame in working side jobs for extended support and Owens, without a doubt, fared better than the star of “The Cosby Show.”
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images