Hollywood and the general public are supporting Geoffrey Owens of “The Cosby Show,” after a woman took photos of him working behind the till at a Trader Joe’s outlet in Clifton, New Jersey. Owens played Bill Cosby’s son-in-law on the show for seven years. However on Thursday last week – ironically shortly before the Labor Day holiday in the US – the Mail Online tabloid published an article about Owens with a headline saying he had gone from “learning lines” to “serving the long line.” Fox News followed suit with a similar article.

As reported by the BBC, the images were also shared on social media, leading to people job-shaming Owens for doing an honest day’s work.

However, social media also supported the actor, saying they found the article insulting towards Owens because the man was doing an honest day’s work. Many people said the article was “job-shaming” the actor.

Owens thanks people for their support

Owens played Bill Cosby’s character’s son-in-law, Elvin Tibideaux on the last five seasons of “The Cosby Show,” a sitcom that was on TV from 1985 to 1992. After the actor was openly mocked online, he went on to thank his supporters who stood by him. He said the support of celebrities and fellow actors was “really overwhelming” adding that this was in a good way.

On Tuesday, the actor told Good Morning America that he feels more like a celebrity now than he did when he was really a celebrity, starring in “The Cosby Show.”

Owens has worked at the Clifton Trader Joe’s for 15 months and said several shoppers have recently recognized him.

The actor proudly wore his name tag from Trader Joe’s throughout the interview.

Owens went on to say that he hopes people will rethink the dignity of work and the honour of a working person. He added that every job is valuable and has prestige. The actor did admit that should he see Al Pacino working behind a till he might be shocked, but said he would handle the situation with sensitivity.

Celebrity support for the actor

Chris Rankin, who starred in the “Harry Potter” movies tweeted his support for Owens by saying he worked in a Wetherspoons kitchen when the Film franchise ended. Rankin said he needed a job and there is no shame in doing that. In fact, he added that he enjoyed doing the work.

As noted by the Daily Mail, there was even a job offer for Owens, when filmmaker Tyler Perry sent out a tweet after the interview, saying the actor should turn up when the filming starts for a new season of a television series on the Oprah Winfrey Network.