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Former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens made a reluctant return to the spotlight this week in what we are calling a Reverse Alex-From-Target situation.
Inexplicably, the actor was shamed and ridiculed for working a normal job as a cashier in between acting gigs.
Now, Tyler Perry has reached out to Owens to offer him a job in television again.
Geoffrey Owens had to step away from his job as a cashier at Trader Joe’s after becoming the center of national attention.
But Tyler Perry has reached out on Twitter to offer him a new job.
“#GeoffreyOwens I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week!” Perry tweeted.
“Come join us!!!” He offered.I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs.”
Perry makes it clear that he has respect for non-acting jobs, calling them “the measure of a true artist.”
In case you’ve forgotten what this was about, Geoffrey Owens rose to national attention this week after he was recognized and photographed while working as a cashier at Trader Joe’s.
He is most famous for having played Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show from 1985 to 1992.
Many were surprised to see him working a normal job. Some people assume that once a person has had a major television role, they are set for life.
This led some people, including Fox News, to shame him for taking this job, assuming that he had carelessly spent a massive TV fortune.
(If we’re picking on former Cosby stars, absolutely everyone can think of a man more deserving of ire)
Thankfully, those hateful messages were very effectively shut down.
There are two important things that everyone seeing this story should keep in mind.
One, Geoffrey is not some washed up former actor. He’s still an actor.
Just last year, he was on Fox’s Lucifer (which was famously saved earlier this year along with shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Expanse — the next season will air on Netflix).
Two, it is totally normal for actors — among other artists — to have regular jobs between or during their art gigs.
Only a very small percentage of actors, writers, and others are able to coast along on the wealth gathered from just a few projects.
It’s great that Perry reached out, especially since Geoffrey could no longer work as an anonymous cashier.
But the biggest takeaway that we should all have from this situation has nothing to do with the realities of the acting world.
Many believe that you have the right to photograph anything that you see in public. That may be so, but snapping a photo is not the same thing as sharing it.
Whether your cashier is attractive or looks like a famous actor or just has weird hair, you do not have the right to broadcast their image across the internet.
None of us ever know what photos of ours may go viral, so we should be extremely careful that we’re not potentially dragging an innocent person into the spotlight.
Please have good manners. Please treat cashiers, and others, with the respect and dignity befitting fellow human beings.