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September 04, 2018

'Cosby Show' actor Geoffrey Owens job-shamed for working at New Jersey Trader Joe's

Tyler Perry tweeted at Owens on Tuesday with an invitation

TV Actors
Geoffrey Owens Anthony Behar/Sipa

Geoffrey Owens attends the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Jacob Javits Center on April 10, 2011, in New York, NY.

"The Cosby Show" actor Geoffrey Owens was ironically shamed on social media during Labor Day weekend for his latest role — as a Trader Joe's employee.

Owens, who played Elvin Tibideaux (boyfriend and eventual husband to Sondra Huxtable, Cliff Hutxable's eldest daughter on the show), was shamed online for working at the Clifton, New Jersey, supermarket after photos of Owens in his uniform and badge circulated online and articles were posted by some media.

Owens appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning, sporting his Trader Joe's badge, to discuss why there had been so much criticism of him. 

"No one should feel sorry for me," he told Robin Roberts on GMA. "I've had a great life. I've had a great career and I've had a career that most actors would die for." 

And the "devastation" he felt from the hate online didn't last long, he said.

Owens said the response from his friends, family, the public and members of Hollywood has been "astounding."

"It's overwhelming in a good way," he told Robin Roberts. "It came out of nowhere."

"I feel like more of a celebrity now than when I actually was a celebrity," he added.

"I was really devastated but the period of devastation was so short, but the responses, my wife and I started to read responses from literally all over the world of support," he said.

Since leaving "The Cosby Show," Owens has been working part-time as an actor and as a producer, according to his IMDB page. He has been teaching acting and directing at Yale and other universities for more than 30 years. But he got his job at Trader Joe's just to make ends meet, he said. He worked there for 15 months before the photos started circulating.

Some reports are saying that he quit his job at the market, however he does not confirm that in his GMA interview. 

Owens also discussed the sanctity and honor of being a working person. Every job is "worthwhile," he said.

"I hope what doesn't pass is this ... rethinking about what it means to work," he said. "The honor of the working person and the dignity of work. And I hope that this period we're in now, where we have a heightened sense about that and a reevaluation of what it means to work, the reevaluation of the idea that some jobs are better than others."

On Tuesday afternoon, Tyler Perry tweeted at Owens and told him to come work with him:


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