Geoffrey Owens has reportedly accepted an offer to star on Tyler Perry’s drama series on Oprah Winfrey’s cable network OWN.
Perry stepped in to offer The Cosby Show actor a gig after he spoke out about being shamed for working at Trader Joe’s after a customer took photographs of him at a checkout and posted them to her social media account.
Sources revealed to TMZ on Friday that Owens, 57, has accepted the deal and is signing on for a 10-episode run on Perry’s The Haves And The Have Nots.
The website reports that Owens will fly to Atlanta, where the show shoots, next week. The show is currently on its 6th season.
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Done deal: Geoffrey Owens has accepted an offer to star in Tyler Perry’s drama The Haves And The Have Nots after the actor was shamed for working at Trader Joe’s
Perry is the creator and director of The Haves and the Haves Nots, which is based on his own 2011 play.
The soap opera, which premiered in 2013, follows two powerful rich families and one poor family as their lives intertwine in Savannah, Georgia.
Owens had appeared on Good Morning America proudly wearing his Trader Joe’s name tag on Tuesday morning as he spoke of being ‘shamed’ for working at the supermarket chain last week.
Shortly after the interview Perry invited Owens to join his hit drama as he tweeted on Tuesday morning: ‘#GeoffreyOwens I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!
‘I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist.’
Owens had revealed that he quit his supermarket job due to the unwanted attention.
Offer: Perry is the creator and director of The Haves and the Haves Nots and offered Owens a role on his show via Twitter after his story hit headlines
Joining the cast: It was reported Friday that Owens will fly to Atlanta next week where the show shoots. It’s currently in its sixth season
Perry offered Owens a job on his show after the former Cosby Show star appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday
During his GMA appearance Owens also seemed to indicate he would turn offers like Perry’s down, noting he would not feel comfortable accepting an acting gig because of the recent attention.
‘This might sound weird but I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting acting jobs from this event,’ he said.
‘I wouldn’t mind getting auditions. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable, someone giving me a job, because this happened. I want to get a job because I am the right person for the job.’
Owens said he never intended to advertise his work at the store and was stunned when the photographs first emerged.
The actor revealed he had been working at store in New Jersey for 15 months ‘out of necessity’ between short-term acting gigs and teaching.
Owens appeared on the show after he was photographed last week bagging groceries at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey
Owens proudly wore his Trader Joe’s name tag and a hat from Yale – his alma mater -on Tuesday as he spoke of being ‘shamed’ for working at the supermarket chain last week
Owens said he never intended to advertise his work at the store and was stunned when the photographs emerged last week
‘When I first saw the pictures…I was really devastated,’ Owens said, explaining that he has not had an on-screen job which lasted more than 10 weeks in the 26 years since The Cosby Show wrapped in 1992.
‘I got to a point where I’d been teaching acting and directing for 30 plus years but it just didn’t add up enough. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.’
‘I wanted a job that I could I have some flexibility and try to stay in the acting business.’
‘I didn’t advertise it, not because I was ashamed of it, but because I didn’t want the acting community to think that I wasn’t pursuing acting anymore,’ he said.
When photographs of him in the store swept social media last week, Owens said he was baffled by the sudden interest.
‘It was really overwhelming. It came out of nowhere. I feel like I’m more of a celebrity now than I ever have been. I’m more of a celebrity now than when I actually was a celebrity!’ he joked.
The 57-year-old said he had been working at the store in New Jersey for 15 months ‘out of necessity’ between short-term acting gigs and teaching
Owens said he hoped his story sparked a shift in attitudes about work and getting by.
Owens is pictured in a head shot from The Cosby Show. He appeared in the hit show from 1985 to 1992, when it wrapped
‘This business of me being the Cosby guy who got shamed for working at Trader Joe’s, that’s going to pass,’ he said.
‘I hope what doesn’t pass is this idea that people are now thinking about – what it means to work.’
‘The honor of the working person and the dignity of work. [There’s a] reevaluation [of the idea] that some jobs are better than others. It’s not true.’
‘There is no job that’s better than another. It may pay better, it may have better benefits, it may look better on paper. But it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile.’
Owens went on to say that he didn’t want anyone’s pity. ‘No one should feel sorry for me,’ he said.
‘I’ve had a great life, a great career. I’ve had a career most actors would die for. I am doing fine,’ he proudly added.
Since The Cosby Show wrapped, Owens (shown above, top right, with disgraced star Bill Cosby and the rest of the show’s cast in a fourth series promotional image) has not had an acting job which lasted more than 10 weeks
A slew of artists, including Terry Crews and New Kids on the Block star Donnie Wahlberg, tweeted their support for Owens since the pictures were released