Days after filmmaker Tyler Perry offered actor Geoffrey Owens a job on his upcoming TV series, Owens, who was job-shamed for working at a New Jersey Trader Joe's, accepted the gig.
The Cosby Show alum is returning to the small screen with a recurring role in Perry's OWN drama The Haves and Have Nots, TheWrap reports, according to a source with knowledge of the casting as well as Owens himself.
The actor will fly to Atlanta, where the series films, to begin shooting next week, according to the news outlet. He will reportedly have a 10-episode arc on the drama.
Perry offered Owens a job via Twitter after Owens made headlines following the publication of photos and articles job-shaming him for working at a Trader Joe's grocery store bagging groceries.
"#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," Perry tweeted on Tuesday, referring to The Haves and Have Nots, which is currently in its sixth season.
#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.— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) September 4, 2018
Initially, Owens called Perry's offer "generous" but was hesitant to take the job, as he said he wanted to win a job of his own merit, not just as an outcome of the incident this week.
"I mean, that kind of sounded like he was saying, 'Come work with me.' I'm so, like, skeptical. Like, really? Are you actually saying come work with me? Because we've never worked together before," Owens told Entertainment Tonight earlier this week. "So, that's a very, very generous thing for him to say. And we'll see what happens with that. But, that's encouraging."
"I don't expect to be offered things," he told ET. "It would be lovely as one of the results of this, some doors open in terms of giving me the opportunity to audition. That, I would appreciate — always, as all actors do. I don't necessarily feel comfortable being given things as a result of this. I mean, I'm not in a position to turn things down but... I don't expect that kind of thing. I like the idea of, you know, put me in a room with everyone else and see if I'm the right one for the job."
This #LaborDay, we honor #geoffreyowens & ALL of the hard-working actors & artists who work 1, 2, 3 day jobs in order to pay the bills, take care of their families & still work to entertain us. #ActorsWithDayJobs, please share yours! We’re here for u & will RT #ActorsWithDayJobs— SAG-AFTRA Foundation (@sagaftraFOUND) September 3, 2018
Many celebrities in the entertainment business offered support for Owens in the wake of the photos' publication. Owens appeared on Good Morning America and talked to ET, thanking those who stood up for him and speaking about the importance of working in general, not just in high-profile glamorous jobs like acting.
"There is no job that is better than another job. It might pay better, it might have better benefits, it might look better on a resume and on paper," Owens said, sporting his Trader Joe's name badge. "But actually, it's not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable, and if we have a rethinking about that because of what has happened to me, that would be great."