Twitter Defends 'Cosby Show' Actor Who Was Shamed For His Second Job Bagging Groceries

"Good honest work is nothing to be ashamed of."

This weekend, former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens received a flood of positivity from many on Twitter after he was photographed at his second job bagging groceries at Trader Joe's. The shaming he seemed to initially receive for the job sparked an important conversation.

As CNN explains, the photo was taken at a Trader Joe's in New Jersey and published on The Daily Mail's website last week, with the headline "From learning lines to serving the long line!" When Fox News picked up the story, many on Twitter responded by sharing their respect for Owens for working hard and calling out the "classism" behind job-shaming him. 

Some pointed out that Owens, who played son-in-law Elvin on The Cosby Show, is still working as an actor. His IMDb page lists several recent television appearances, and CNN notes that he has also performed on stage, and is the founder and artistic director of The Brooklyn Shakespeare Company. 

As people on Twitter were quick to emphasize, many working actors (even those who starred in successful projects) have to take second jobs to pay the bills. Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor and former football player Terry Crews tweeted that he "swept floors AFTER the @NFL," adding, "Good honest work is nothing to be ashamed of."

Other actors shared their own stories about working second jobs, including former General Hospital actor Bradford Anderson, who said he worked as an Uber driver after leaving the show. "In this business there are peaks and valleys and you never know how long they'll last," he wrote.

On Labor Day, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation even tweeted that it was honoring Owens "and ALL of the hard-working actors who work 1, 2, 3 day jobs in order to pay the bills, take care of their families & still work to entertain us." The organization encouraged actors to share their own stories with the hashtag #ActorsWithDayJobs.

Although he hadn't initially commented, Owens appeared on Good Morning America just this morning to share his thoughts. He wore his Trader Joe's name badge and said the kind response to the photo was "overwhelming, in a good way." 

He said he appreciated the conversation that was started about the value of work. As he told Robin Roberts, "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."

Cover image: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.