He’s taught at Yale and he’s worked on some of the biggest shows in television history, but Geoffrey Owens needed some help catching up on bills in 2017. He nabbed a job at a Trader Joe’s and worked there for over a year, with customers recognizing him on a daily basis. For the most part, it was a very positive working environment—until one shopper decided to take pictures of him a few weeks ago. She then sent the photos to media outlets, which portrayed the actor as being down on his luck because he was working at Trader Joe’s. As an alum of The Cosby Show, Owens was fodder for a media that was trying to spin an unflattering narrative about him. He reported that he felt devastated when the photos surfaced, but his emotions quickly turned around due to the overwhelmingly positive public backlash to the negative tone of the articles.
In the midst of the upheaval, because his presence at the store has become so distracting, Owens quit his Trader Joe’s gig. But while Fox News was trying to cut him down, social media was attempting to lift him up. It wasn’t long before many other artists came to his defense, naming their day jobs. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) used the opportunity to post about Owens on Labor Day, asking SAG members to shout out their own day jobs. And a funny thing happened in the midst of all this furor; Owens began to get some phone calls. Appearing on GMA with Robin Roberts, he discussed the fact that he’s not looking for handout roles but would definitely appreciate an audition or two.
Because of the massive media coverage, people in the industry suddenly started to talk about Owens again. Oddly enough, he stated on people.com that he believes that this is the most famous he’s ever been. And then there was the incredible job offer from Tyler Perry. Taking to Twitter, the media maestro posted that he was very interested in hiring Owens for his newest television show. With many believing that a gig in a Tyler Perry project is the penultimate position these days, fate has definitely taken a different turn for this veteran actor. For Owens, it would appear that what started as a negative media whirlwind has turned into something very positive indeed.