back to top
CULTURE
 / 

"The Cosby Show" Actor Geoffrey Owens' Day Job Story Inspired #ActorsWithDayJobs Hashtag

Geoffrey Owens made headlines last week when the media reported on his working at Trader Joe's. Fans and celebrities have supported the actor and his former day job by sharing their own via #ActorsWithDayJobs.

Geoffrey Owens has graced our TV screens for more than 20 years now. He's best know for playing son-in-law Elvin Tibideaux on "The Cosby Show," but he's also appeared in 30+ shows and films, including "Built to Last" and "Divorce."

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

The seasoned actor recently made headlines after The Daily Mail and Fox News reported about his working at a New Jersey Trader Joe's grocery store. The Daily Mail story included language like "from learning lines to serving the long line!" ultimately sparking a larger discussion on job shaming this past Labor Day weekend.

@FoxNews / Via Twitter: @FoxNews

But as Geoffrey told Robin Roberts in an exclusive "Good Morning America" interview earlier today, his initial feelings of devastation soon turned into gratitude as tens of thousands of people came to his defense via social media.

FULL INTERVIEW: @GMA EXCLUSIVE -- "There's no job better than another...every job is worthwhile..." Actor Geoffrey Owens speaks out, responding to job shaming and backlash after a photo of him working at a grocery store was posted online: https://t.co/0wZJnpowI9 https://t.co/aNiG5fV2yf

"This business of my being the 'Cosby' guy who got shamed for working at Trader Joe's...in some measure of time, that's going to pass away," he told Robin. "But I hope what doesn't pass is this idea that people are now thinking—this rethinking—about what it means to work. You know, the honor of the working person and the dignity of work."

"There is no job that's better than another job," the actor continued. "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."

Inspired by Geoffrey's story, The SAG-AFTRA Foundation started the now-viral #ActorsWithDayJobs hashtag to destigmatize the ways in which performers support themselves and their loved ones. Here are some of the motivational responses:

This #LaborDay, we honor #geoffreyowens 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. #ActorsWithDayJobs, share yours loud and proud! We’re here for you! https://t.co/9ZGmrefHeK

BTW, SAG-AFTRA stands for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

"So you know back in the day I was a Social worker on the Lower East Side NYC and pursuing an acting career...I Loved working with my Humanity and Humanity has always Loved Me Back...The hustle is real as in gratitude..."

So you know back in the day I was a Social worker on the Lower East Side NYC and pursuing an acting career...I Loved working with my Humanity and Humanity has always Loved Me Back...The hustle is real as in gratitude...#ActorsWithDayJobs

"Waitress, hostess, box office worker, nanny, receptionist, personal organizer. The norm for an artist is not being paid to do what we love, the norm is to HUSTLE and do whatever it takes to chase that dream. There is no shame in that—only pride."

Waitress, hostess, box office worker, nanny, receptionist, personal organizer. The norm for an artist is not being paid to do what we love, the norm is to HUSTLE and do whatever it takes to chase that dream. There is no shame in that—only pride. #ActorsWithDayJobs #laborday https://t.co/GypQs9HrLi

"I bartended for 15yrs while pursuing my acting career. Many of those nights I was literally on the TV while taking orders from customers. They would say 'hey, isn’t that you?' I’d say, 'yup, would you like a glass of wine w/ your steak?'"

I bartended for 15yrs while pursuing my acting career. Many of those nights I was literally on the TV while taking orders from customers. They would say “hey, isn’t that you?” I’d say, “yup, would you like a glass of wine w/ your steak?” #NoShame #ActorsWithDayjobs https://t.co/vqgZbWwRN0

"Right now I'm on the of the lucky few who gets to just be an actor. But for 15+ years, I was also an admin assistant, customer service manager, online community manager, freelance writer, telemarketer, & SAT tutor... & will do it again if I gotta."

Right now I'm on the of the lucky few who gets to just be an actor. But for 15+ years, I was also an admin assistant, customer service manager, online community manager, freelance writer, telemarketer, & SAT tutor... & will do it again if I gotta. #ActorsWithDayJobs #LaborDay https://t.co/nAv5NTlSY6

"After 3 Bway shows and a Tony nom. my unemployment ran out so I got a job at a gift shop. One a day a customer said, 'has anyone ever told you you look like Liz Callaway?' I confessed it was me. He said 'good for you!!' That was Ira Levin, who wrote Deathtrap."

After 3 Bway shows and a Tony nom. my unemployment ran out so I got a job at a gift shop. One a day a customer said, “has anyone ever told you you look like Liz Callaway?” I confessed it was me. He said “good for you!!” That was Ira Levin, who wrote Deathtrap. #ActorsWithDayJobs https://t.co/alFn5kZYpr

"Got a job as a hostess when I left General Hospital. Many didn’t understand why I’d leave #GH without another acting gig waiting for me. (If only we could all be so lucky). This is what dedication to your artistic happiness actually looks like."

🙋🏼‍♀️Got a job as a hostess when I left General Hospital. Many didn’t understand why I’d leave #GH without another acting gig waiting for me. (If only we could all be so lucky). This is what dedication to your artistic happiness actually looks like. #actorswithdayjobs https://t.co/t1nGRFf9Zz

"After a few years of not having a day job, I’m back to having one this year. This industry is harder than anyone can imagine!! I teach little kids how to swim!"

After a few years of not having a day job, I’m back to having one this year. This industry is harder than anyone can imagine!! I teach little kids how to swim! #ActorsWithDayJobs #swimteacher #actor #HappyLaborDay https://t.co/u5hGDf9YAs

"Bartender/server (so many restaurants), exec secretary, accounting for trailer prod co, taught lawyers improv skills, temp at methadone research clinic. The list goes on. You do what you have to do to be able to do what you love. That’s. Called. Grit."

Bartender/server (so many restaurants), exec secretary, accounting for trailer prod co, taught lawyers improv skills, temp at methadone research clinic. The list goes on. You do what you have to do to be able to do what you love. That’s. Called. Grit. #Noshame #ActorsWithDayJobs https://t.co/sApBZe7QgG

"My Pringles spot came on during the Winter Olympics, which was on where I was bartending. I was a real estate agent, when my Ruby Tuesday’s spot came on the TV at the apt I was showing. Working as a writer for a marketing company when I had a part on House."

My Pringles spot came on during the Winter Olympics, which was on where I was bartending. I was a real estate agent, when my Ruby Tuesday’s spot came on the TV at the apt I was showing. Working as a writer for a marketing company when I had a part on House. #actorswithdayjobs

"ONE of my favorite day jobs was working at the children's book store, Storyopolis! I love, Love, LOVED it and it put food, Food, FOOD on my table. There ain't #NOSHAME in your game."

ONE of my favorite day jobs was working at the children's book store, Storyopolis! I love, Love, LOVED it and it put food, Food, FOOD on my table. There ain't #NOSHAME in your game #GeoffreyOwens! #ActorsWithDayJobs https://t.co/hehfH0AkPa

"I'm a preschool teacher and writer. I've had and will probably continue to have day jobs to survive but I'm always an actor."

I'm a preschool teacher and writer. I've had and will probably continue to have day jobs to survive but I'm always an actor. #actorswithdayjobs #sagaftra

Shout out to all the actors pursuing their dreams by any means necessary!

#ActorsWithDayJobs Why actors want a day time job

Do you have an #ActorsWithDayJobs story? Do you also work multiple jobs to support your ultimate dreams and goals? Share your story in the comment section below!

Connect with As/Is