I’m going to state the obvious and get it over with – people can be dicks on social media, and that applies to the news media as well.
Having a public platform should come with a sense of responsibility, but this seems to be too much to ask.
Remember Bill Cosby? Of course, you do. Most of us grew up thinking he was the grandad we always wanted, and then it came out that he was a creepy, rapey bastard.
Cosby deserved everything he got, from his guilty verdict to the backlash on the news and social media. One of his fellow actors on the Cosby Show, Geoffrey Owens, however, did not deserve to make it onto Twitter and the news, when it was revealed that he works as a grocery bagger.
The Huffington Post reports that before The Cosby Show ended in 1992, actor Geoffrey Owens played the character Elvin Tibideaux for five seasons.
Owens continued to work as an actor for a few years, but show business is fickle, and eventually, he couldn’t make ends meet and had to take on other jobs.
Owens was seen a few days ago working in a Clifton, New Jersey, Trader Joe’s by a shopper who recognized the actor, then was compelled to take a photo of him. The customer, Karma Lawrence, told the Daily Mail it made her feel bad that after all those years on “The Cosby Show,” Owens “ended up as a cashier.”
Fox News and Daily Mail chose to not only report this but also, in the view of many, basically shame a man for having a “regular” job and framing it with the negative connotation of “bagging groceries.”
First, we know that Fox News and the Daily Mail is where both dreams and the news go to die – and I’m using the term “news” very lightly here.
Secondly, so what? The guy is trying to make an honest living.
People from all walks of life, across the political spectrum (including conservative actor James Woods and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch), came to Owens’ defense on social media, slamming Fox News and Daily Mail for the slants on their stories.
Some also took note of the contrast between Owens’ situation and that of the star of the show that made him a celebrity, Bill Cosby, who faces sentencing later this month on felony convictions stemming from a sexual assault.
Owens, 57, graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1983 and regularly teaches Shakespeare in the New York and New Jersey area. He’s made appearances on shows such as “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” “Lucifer” and “Elementary.”
Here’s a video that showcases Owen’s teaching and acting experience:
Fox News and the Daily Mail really need to learn to pick their battles if they ever want to be seen as anything other than trash.
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