Tyler Perry Hires ‘Cosby Show’ Actor Geoffrey Owens After Being ‘Job Shamed’ For Working At Trader Joe’s
Geoffrey Owens is an actor with a commendable body of work, with his role as Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show being his most famous one. He was recently spotted working at a Trader Joe’s food store and a customer took his picture – a decision she now regrets.
GEOFFREY OWENS HIRED BY TYLER PERRY
Karma Lawrence is the woman who took a snapshot of Owens on Aug. 30. After sending the image to a few websites, it was eventually published by the Daily Mail. The story soon went viral, and Owens received outpouring support on social media. Many people – including fellow actors – commended Owens for being a “working actor,” and Tyler Perry even offered Owens a part in his upcoming OWN project.
— Blair Underwood (@BlairUnderwood) September 2, 2018
#GeoffreyOwens I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist.
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) September 4, 2018
Owens has since gone on television to say that he was “devastated” after the initial reporting, citing how one article in particular described him as looking “fat, bloated” and “unhappy.” He even quit his job at Trader Joe’s, having been there for 15 months. However, the overwhelming support he received from fans and colleagues alike overjoyed him.
“The period of devastation was so short because so shortly after that, the responses, my wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world… fortunately the shame part didn’t last very long,” Owens said on GMA. “It’s amazing.”
Lawrence, however, has been subjected to different treatment on social media. Speaking with NJ.com, she explains she didn’t mean any malice when she took the picture or sent it to various publications.
She’s an avid reader of Hollywood blogs and media, and she doesn’t quite understand what propelled her to take snapshots of Owens. “I figured everybody does it,” Lawrence confessed. “I don’t know what possessed me. I just did it. I didn’t even think about it. I just kind of did it on impulse and it was a bad impulse.” She claims she did not intend to job shame Owens, she was just surprised to see a former Cosby Show star bagging groceries.
Her email and social media accounts were soon overflown with hateful messages. One image she was sent photoshopped devil horns onto her head, whereas other people are making puns with her first name. “So much hate. So much nastiness. Oh, it’s been terrible,” Lawrence said. “They write Karma’s a b****. It’s bad.”
Lawrence, who’s 50 years old and adored Owens’ work on The Cosby Show, is haunted by the story she ushered in. She deleted her social media accounts and is unable to sleep, guilt-ridden over embarrassing Owens. “When I saw him working there I thought maybe because of everything with Bill Cosby that his residuals got cut. And people have to take a normal job. But I didn’t think anything bad about it. I work a normal job.” She even shares Owens’ love for Trader Joe’s, saying, “They have the best stuff.”