Before “The Cosby Show” ended in 1992, actor Geoffrey Owens played the character Elvin Tibideaux on NBC’s hit comedy series for five seasons. He’s continued working through the years as an actor but, as is the case in most creative industries, actors often do many other jobs to make ends meet. This is not news.
Owens was seen a few days ago working in a Clifton, New Jersey, Trader Joe’s by a shopper who recognized the actor, then was compelled to take a photo of him. The customer, Karma Lawrence, told the Daily Mail it made her feel bad that after all those years on “The Cosby Show,” Owens “ended up as a cashier.”
Fox News and Daily Mail chose to not only report this but also, in the view of many, basically shame a man for having a “regular” job and framing it with the negative connotation of “bagging groceries.”
People from all walks of life, across the political spectrum (including conservative actor James Woods and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch), came to Owens’ defense on social media, slamming Fox News and Daily Mail for the slants on their stories.
Some also took note of the contrast between Owens’ situation and that of the star of the show that made him a celebrity, Bill Cosby, who faces sentencing later this month on felony convictions stemming from a sexual assault.
Owens, 57, graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1983 and regularly teaches Shakespeare in the New York and New Jersey area. He’s made appearances on shows such as “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” “Lucifer” and “Elementary.”
Here’s a 2016 news story about his experience acting and teaching.