Former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens’ name began trending this weekend following the publication of a Daily Mail article shaming the actor for working at a Trader Joe’s grocery store in New Jersey. Fox News later picked up the story, further disparaging the actor seemingly for having an alternate source of income.
Celebrities from Terry Crews to Blair Underwood defended their fellow thespian, many using the hashtag #ActorsWithDayJobs. Much of the public came to his defense as well, which didn’t go unnoticed by the actor who has recently appeared in Showtime’s The Affair, HBO’s Divorce and CBS’ Elementary, according to E!
“It’s really overwhelming—in a good way. But I kind of feel like that character in that Woody Allen movie who wakes up one morning and he’s a celebrity all of a sudden, who has no idea where it came from. It came out of nowhere,” Owens told Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. “I really want to thank everybody out there—family friends, Hollywood community and the general public—for the incredible support, for the amazing support and positivity they have shown for me. It’s really astounding. It’s quite encouraging.”
Owens admitted to being “devasted” at the original report, but was soon comforted by the overwhelming encouragement he received.
“The period of devastation was so short, because so shortly after that, my wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world of support. So, fortunately, the shame part didn’t last very long.”
The 57-year-old worked for the health food chain for 15 months before going viral. He recently quit due to unwanted attention. He began working there to make ends meet.
“I’ve been teaching acting directing for 30+ years, but it got to a point where it just didn’t add up enough. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
Owens also shared his belief that no job is truly better than another.
“There is no job that is better than another job. It might pay better. It might have better benefits. It might look better on a résumé and a paper. But actually, it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable. If we have a rethinking about that because of what’s happened to me, that would be great. But no one should be sorry for me, either from a positive or negative perspective. I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for. So, no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine.”
Check out the interview below.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.