Celebrities leap to the defence of 'Cosby Show' star after reports emerge of him working in a supermarket
Most of the people reading this right now will understand the difficulties of finding a job. It doesn't matter whether the position you're looking for is blue collar or white collar, high-ranking or entry-level, there are always obstacles in the way. Plus, when you have the position, there's no guarantee that you'll have it forever - especially if you work in a career where you're always having to take on temporary roles, such as acting.
With that in mind, it really shouldn't come as a huge surprise to us that the stars we see on TV often have to take other jobs in order to keep the paycheques coming in between gigs. After all, while it may seem like a glamorous lifestyle, there are very few acting roles that would keep someone set for life in the financial sense.
So, when a picture of actor Geoffrey Owens (best known for his role on the Cosby Show) working as a cashier in a Trader Joe's store went viral recently, many fans were shocked to see how harsh the media was towards him.
Headlines such as "The Cosby Show star Geoffrey Owens now works $11-an-hour supermarket job" and "The Cosby Show's Geoffrey Owens spotted working on the till at US supermarket 26 years after the show was cancelled" dominated online publications - and many felt that they implied that a cashier role was somehow beneath someone like Owens.
First of all, that comes across as incredibly offensive to anyone who works or has worked in a customer service role. The job is tough, tiring, and - most of the time - totally unforgiving. But the people that work those jobs almost always do so with a smile on their face, and that's something we take for granted.
Secondly, and more prominently for others who work as actors, the call-out seemed to suggest that it wasn't okay for people who work in television to ever have a different job. But, as many Hollywood stars came to point out, an acting gig is just the same as any other: it pays the bills for a while, but not forever.
Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in Harry Potter, had this to say about the matter:
Pamela Adlon, who starred as the main voice actor in - and won an Emmy for - King of the Hill, also shared her experience:
And Melissa Francis, an actress and Fox News commentator, explained how she had worked minimum wage jobs after appearing in several TV shows and movies in the 80s and 90s:
Some people pointed out that Owens hasn't even quit acting, but he's been forced to take on multiple job roles in order to keep himself afloat financially:
While others put a different spin on the story, and said that, actually, we should be praising someone who takes initiative and works hard to support themselves:
At least, on this occasion, most people had the good sense to leap to Owens' defence - but, often, we are not quite so kind to people who work minimum wage jobs. Perhaps this incident will teach us to be more understanding of people who we perceive to be of different walks of life to us, and to understand that everyone is of equal value, regardless of their profession.