(LOS ANGELES) — After being job-shamed online for working at Trader Joe’s, former Cosby Show star Geoffrey Owens about the uptick his professional life has taken since.
“There’s no job that is better than another. They might pay better, have better benefits, but actually, it’s not better,” Owens said last month on Good Morning America, after a photo of him bagging groceries at went viral and garnered hateful comments.
That interview triggered an outpouring of support from fellow actors, as well as a handful of job offers, including filmmaker Tyler Perry, who cast him in his hit show The Haves and the Have Nots.
“There is a little sense of mischief, I think, to Tyler as well as generosity because, you know, I had just said, ‘I don’t think I would really feel comfortable getting offered work, you know, because of the situation,'” Owens said. “And darn. What does he do? He offers me work.”
In fact, Perry wrote a character specifically for Owens.
“I said, ‘Hmm, I got something for you. I’ll write a senator in, make you a senator in this,'” Perry told GMA.
“I called him up and the next week I had written him into 11 shows,” Perry added. “But when he showed up the first day, I saw him in costume, I had 20,000 more ideas running in my head for him.”
Since his Trader Joe’s photo went viral, Owens said he’s received more TV offers and an outpouring of support.
“Maybe this is the cause that’s actually going to bridge the divide in our country,” he said. “Maybe this is it. This is the way that we come together.”
Owens’ debut on The Haves and the Have Nots airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.
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