Geoffrey Owens: TV actor's response to being job shamed for working in a supermarket is priceless

Lowenna Waters
Wednesday 05 September 2018 09:30
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Actor Geoffrey Owens has defended himself after he was shamed for being spotted working as a cashier in an American supermarket.

57-year-old Owens, who is perhaps most famous for his role as Elvin Tibideaux, a doctor in Bill Cosby's The Cosby Show in the eighties, was shamed last week by various media outlets after pictures emerged in the press showing him working in in Trader Joe's, Clifton, New Jersey, alongside job shaming headlines.

Some of the shaming headlines included:

The Cosby Show star Geoffrey Owens now works $11-an-hour supermarket job.

And:

The Cosby Show's Geoffrey Owens spotted working on the till at US supermarket 26 years after the show was cancelled.

Many Twitter users jumped to Owens' defence, including many people who work in the entertainment industry. Some said they were 'disgusted by the ignorance' of the headlines; and others said that they had 'respect' for Owens, who is proudly earning an honest wage:

Now, Owens has defended himself in a candid interview with Good Morning America. Speaking to host Robin Roberts, he said that the messages of support he'd received from around the world quickly snuffed out any shame he originally felt after reading the hurtful headlines.

Speaking on the show, he said:

There is no job that’s better than another job.

It might pay better, it might have better benefits, it might look better on a resume and on paper.

But actually, it’s not better.

Every job is worthwhile and valuable…

What a great response.

Many of the other actors who had leapt to Owens' defence had subconsciously reinforced the job shaming culture that they had intended to decry. By listing all the jobs they'd done before getting their roles in acting, they implicitly suggest that service jobs are lower in worth than acting jobs, or graduate jobs.

That's why Owen's response is just so perfect.

HT Quartz at work

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