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Tyler Perry Offers Actor a Gig After Being Job Shamed for Working at Traders Joe's

Updated on February 26, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

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.

Rapper Nicki Minaj
Rapper Nicki Minaj | Source

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.

Do you think Geoffrey Owens should have been job shamed for working at Traders Joe's?

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    • Shalon L Leonard profile image

      The filled mind 

      6 months ago from East Orange

      Yes, he did, but I kinda of wished he wouldn't have taken it, and I feel that Nicki Minaj so-called donation of 25k is a bit self-serving, he doesn't need a donation for having a respectable job, and she could've done it without telling the world.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      The fille mind, yes, that was a good attitude of Owens, but I heard that he and Mr. Perry did work out something for him to have a job.

    • Shalon L Leonard profile image

      The filled mind 

      6 months ago from East Orange

      I am glad he stood up for himself and let M.r Perry know that he was not interested in anyone's charity. He wanted to audition for the role like everyine else.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Dora, I am like you. I am also happy for Geoffrey Owens and thankful that Tyler Perry offered him a job!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      So happy for Owens. Read about the incident previously, but grateful to you for the rest of the story. Kudos to Perry for his kindness, and to Owens for his mature attitude.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      I am thinking positive thoughts that Owens will get a job that is suitable for him. LIke you, Anita, I wish him the best!

    • profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      6 months ago

      Owens is a great actor and I hope all the best for him in the future.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Tim, those are my thoughts also. Hopefully, Owens will get another role that lasts a long time. I watch Tyler Perry's "The Haves and the Have Nots." I would love to see him on the series. Perry would have no problem writing some scenes for him.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      6 months ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent piece. The job shaming incident makes my stomach turn. This man, Owens, has integrity. Tyler Perry has always been a class act. I hope things work out for both of these men who show that integrity, dignity, and honor still means something in our society.

      The shame is on those who don't understand that a decent respectable job is work, and nobody truly wants a handout.

      Good article. Great message.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Anne, I hope things turn out well for Geoffrey Owens after what he has been through. Perhaps he will accept Tyler Perry's offer and have a role in a television series again.

    • profile image

      Anne Cox 

      6 months ago

      Two very decent men with great character as human beings. Who can help but to wish only the best for both of them. And: How utterly shameful that anyone would disparage someone for the work s/he does... regardless of the type of work. As long as it is honest, it is honorable. Your article brought tears to my eyes.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Leland, I am on the same page with you about Owens' character. With an attitude like he has, I believe the right role will come along for him.

    • Leland Johnson profile image

      Leland Johnson 

      6 months ago from Midland MI

      I really respect Owens' character. As if having the guts to go from being an actor on one of the most popular sit coms in TV history to working in a grocery store isn't enough, the icing on the cake is that he won't accept a high paying role if he feels he didn't earn it. It's too bad there aren't more people with his character and work ethic. What a guy.

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