Tyler Perry Offers Actor a Gig After Being Job Shamed for Working at Traders Joe's
Actor Geoffrey Owens had been working at Trader Joe's in New Jersey for 15 months before Karma Lawrence saw him at the cash register. The customer took unflattering photos and sold them to The Daily Mail.
The public sees this as job shaming. Many people supported the actor who is in between acting gigs.
Tyler Perry's Offer
The job shaming of Geoffrey Owens came to the attention of Tyler Perry. Now the out of work actor is now being offered a new acting gig on Tyler' number one drama on OWN. Perry is the writer, director, and producer of The Haves and the Have Nots.
Perry posted an invitation on Twitter for Owens to join the cast next week when they begin shooting for the show. Perry said, "Come join us!" The writer of the show added that he has a lot of respect for people who hustle between gigs.
It might seem like a very good offer, but Owens might not accept it, according to what he said when he was interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America on Tuesday.
Geoffrey Owens Accepted Tyler Perry's Offer
It is just like Tyler Perry to reach out to Owens and offer him a job, but Owens told host Robin Roberts that he did not want a job because of the instant notoriety. He said he didn't mind auditioning and getting a job because he is the right person for it. However, he doesn't want any handouts just because he was job shamed for working at Traders Joe's.
At the time of the interview, the 57-year-old actor didn't mention who else has offered him a job, but he did say there have been all kinds of interest. He joked that he feels more like a celebrity now than ever before.
Since the interview aired last week, CNN reported that Owens has accepted Perry's job offer. He will appear in the hit drama series The Haves and the Have Nots. Owen's exact role on the show is unknown at this time. However, he will start off being part of several episodes.
Owens and His Previous Jobs
Owens is a Yale graduate and has been an actor for three decades. His longest role was playing Elvin Tibideaux in 44 episodes as the husband of Dr. Huxtable's oldest daughter, Sondra on The Cosby Show. The actor worked on the show from 1985 until it went off the air in 1992.
Owens never had another major acting job. However, he had short-term assignments, but none of them lasted more than ten weeks. Also, they were low paying jobs.
He took the job at the grocery store because his income dwindled after reruns of The Cosby Show were pulled when Bill Cosby was convicted of sexual assault last year.
He said others had recognized him as a Trader Joe’s employee during the last 15 months, but no one made a big deal over it until recently. During his GMA interview, he said that he has been teaching acting and directing for years.
Owens said he and his wife are overwhelmed by the amount of support from the public even though he is not ashamed of working at a grocery store. He admitted that he was devastated by the job shaming for about an hour or two, but it didn't last much longer than that.
He was working at Trader Joe's because of the flexibility of leaving for job interviews and auditions when they became available. He added that no job is better than any other. He concluded by saying, “Every job is worthwhile and valuable.”
He indicated that in his opinion the news outlets tried to celebrate his downfall.
Quit Job at Trader Joe's
Owens quit his job at Trader Joe's after so much unwanted attention was made about his employment. He said he didn't feel comfortable working there after the social media frenzy.
Trader Joe's suggested that Owens call it a temporary leave of absence so he can return whenever he wanted to.
Update on Owens' Situation
After singer Nicki Minaj heard what happened to Owens, she donated $25,000 on behalf of her show, Queen Radio to help him until he finds another job.
The 35-year-old Trinidadian-American rapper explained to Entertainment Tonight that she didn't like the way he was job shamed for making a living for his family. The singer was upset with the person who took photos and sold them to make money for herself while job shaming what Owen was doing.
Others are reaching out to Owens since the photos and the story came out about his honest way of making a living.