At SAG Awards, actor Geoffrey Owens talks about his Trader Joe's job

A photo of The Cosby Show actor's cashiering job went viral in the fall, sparking a discussion of job-shaming.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

Geoffrey Owens didn't win any awards at Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards, but the actor drew a rousing round of applause nonetheless.  

Owens, best known for playing Sondra Huxtable's husband Elvin Tibideaux on hit '80s sitcom The Cosby Show, made headlines back in September when a photo of him working at a New Jersey Trader Joe's went viral. The photo brought buzz as some felt Owens was being shamed for working an honest, if unglamorous, job. The resulting attention helped the actor land a guest star role on NCIS: New Orleans, among other parts.

At the beginning of the SAG Awards, numerous actors in the audience are shown speaking briefly about their careers, then introducing themselves and saying, "I am an actor."

Sunday night, Owens earned a lively round of applause when the camera spotlighted him.

"So, somewhere in the middle of the road of my life, I found myself in the dark wood of unemployment and debt," he said. "But instead of switching careers like a sane person, I took a job at a local Trader Joe's to see if I could hang in there with my career. And, um, it's actually worked out pretty well. I'm Geoffrey Owens and I am an actor. "

Mike Myers, Yara Shahidi and Megan Mullally also delivered short bits about their careers for the segment.

Black Panther won the SAG award for best ensemble in a motion picture, an award that sometimes foreshadows the Academy Awards best-picture winner. Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and Glenn Close, who plays Joan Castleman in The Wife, claimed the top acting awards.

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