‘Cosby’ Star Geoffrey Owens Accepts Job Offer From Tyler Perry After Being Shamed for Working at Trader Joe’s

Nation/World
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Actor Geoffrey Owens has gone from being job-shamed to landing a major Hollywood gig.

A representative for Owens told CNN that he has accepted a job offer from Tyler Perry, who tweeted earlier this week that he wanted Owens to appear on his OWN television show, “The Haves and The Have Nots.”

Owen’s exact role on the show is unknown, but he’ll appear on multiple episodes.

Owens, who rose to fame as Elvin Tibideaux on “The Cosby Show” from 1985 to 1992, made headlines recently after photos of the actor working at a Trader Joe’s grocery store were first published by the Daily Mail.

Owens told CNN in an interview on Tuesday that while he was initially devastated by the job-shaming attention, the support he received on social media was overwhelmingly positive.

“I was only devastated for an hour or two,” Owens said. “It was hurtful but very short lived. What has been sustained, now over days, is how much love and support there is. Not just for me, but for working people. The idea that, ‘Hey, what’s wrong with working at Trader Joe’s, or any job like that?”

Nicki Minaj said on her Beats 1 “Queen Radio” show Wednesday that she plans on donating $25,000 to the actor who has also received support from fans and other celebrities as well as an offer of work from uber-producer Tyler Perry since the story went public.

On Thursday the rapper talked to “Entertainment Tonight” about why she wants to help.

“Some people are on the internet and seeking attention, and he’s just the antithesis of that,” Minaj said. “So I felt like, ‘Oh my God, could you imagine?’ ”

She said she knows what it feels like to have to work a job outside of the industry and she had a message for Owens.

“Tell him that I’m going to have my team contact him because I hope he doesn’t take it the wrong way,” she said. “I just want to help him in any way I can.”

Owens said he worked at the grocery store for 15 months to help support his family but left his position when he learned of the media coverage in the works.

He added that he hopes his experience being called out for simply doing his job will help change attitudes about work.

“What I hope continues to resonate is the idea that one job is not better than another,” Owens said earlier this week. “A certain job might pay more, it might have better benefits, it might look better on paper, but that essentially one kind of work isn’t better than another kind of work, that we reevaluate that whole idea and we start honoring the dignity of work and the dignity of the working person.”

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