It’s been one hell of a week for former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens. He became the talk of the internet after Fox News published a ridiculously insensitive post ridiculing the accomplished actor for working at Trader Joe’s.
Owens’ peers in Hollywood and fans on social media quickly came to his defense.
Nicki Minaj is one of the latest celebrities offering their take on the situation.
After dubbing Karma Lawrence and her wife, who took the photos of Owens at work at a New Jersey Trader Joe’s and sold them to the highest bidder, “c**k sucker of the day” on her Queen radio show, Minaj revealed that she’d be “donating” $25,000 to Owens.
View this post on Instagram
WHO GOD BLESS NO MAN CAN CURSE!!!!!!!!!! When will y’all realize that you only curse YOURSELF when you try to humiliate & hurt people?!?!!! I wish I had a show, I’d do the same thing! But praise be to GOD that Mr. Tyler Perry & Queen OPRAH DOES have a show! A FEW SHOWS!!!!! 🙏🏽 the internet is so toxic & disgusting!!! This man is a whole LEGEND in these streets!!!! Major part of our child hood!!!! Barbz, find the person who took this pic & uploaded it to the internet. I just wanna talk. They don’t want us working in between our acting jobs, they want us on drugs & doing home invasions on THEIR HOMES!!!!!!! That’s when they’ll be SATISFIED!!!! This man minds his own business!!!! He’s not on the internet being messy & seeking attention. Someone GOT PAID for this photo!!!! I can’t wait for #QueenRadio this week. I’m giving #GeoffreyOwens a small token of our appreciation. We will NOT treat our own like this for a cpl of fucking laughs & memes! I CURSE everyone responsible. You JUST WATCH!!!!!
While the Queen emcee’s benevolence could be considered an admirable act, it actually goes against everything Geoffrey Owens stands for. Don’t take my word for it, though. He’s explicitly said it himself.
During an interview with Good Morning America, the Yale University alum spoke out against job shaming.
"I hope that this period that we’re in now, where we have a heightened sensitivity about that, and a reevaluation of what it means to work and the idea that some jobs are better than others — that’s actually not true."
"There is no job that’s better than another job. It might pay better, it might have better benefits, it might look better on a resume and on paper. But actually, it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable."
As if that wasn’t enough, Owens rejected the idea that he should be pitied because of his job.
"No one should feel sorry for me. I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for. So no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine!"
We can’t completely fault her, though. Over the last few weeks, the rapper has been going out of her way to provide financial help to those in need.
Earlier this summer, Minaj announced she’d be kicking off another edition of her Student of the Game scholarship.
The huge difference between Geoffrey Owens and the dozens of college students Minaj has offered scholarships is the fact that Owens didn’t ask for any assistance.
Just like Minaj’s Instagram post said, “this man minds his own business!!!! He’s not on the internet being messy & seeking attention,” so maybe he’s not in need of donations after all? Maybe he’s happy in his life as an actor, Shakespearean theater teacher and a crew member at Trader Joe’s? At least he’s employed with a company that offers its staff a retirement plan, as well as medical, dental and vision insurance.
Regardless of her intent, it’s offensive and shallow AF to assume that someone would be willing to accept a handout — no matter how big —simply because they’re employed in a job that society doesn’t deem lavish or glamorous enough.
With the discussion surrounding Minaj’s plan to donate circulating, many commenters took to social media offended and flat out confused.
So Nicki Minaj is donating 25 grand to Geoffrey Owens...WAY TO TRY & GRAB GOOD PUBLICITY IN THE MIDST OF YOUR MELTDOWN. Support him for not being too proud to work after being famous like everyone else. He’s not a charity case. He publicly said he’s doing fine & content in life.— M.J. (@MJFadeAway5) September 6, 2018
Nicki Minaj publicly giving money to Geoffrey Owens is fucked up..... and problematic.— madi cake (@madisonkrussell) September 6, 2018
But also, Elvin was the worst 🤷🏻♀️
While I think it’s a nice gesture, I don’t feel like Nicki Minaj donating money to Geoffrey Owens needs to be public, nor do I feel like it’s any better than his job being shamed worldwide. EVERY job is important and we are all equal. Treating him like a charity case = not cool.— Jen Scantland (@rikersit) September 6, 2018
So Nicki Minaj is donating $25k to Cosby Show Geoffrey Owens? Why, because he’s earning an honest living bagging groceries and you want your name in the spotlight for turning him into a charity case? This makes me sick. Let the man do what he’s gotta do.— Julian Slink (@SardonicAnthony) September 6, 2018
I cant believe Nicki Minaj is donating to Geoffrey Owens. Thats a whole fucking mess. He aint a damn bum. Hes a working man who I heard does plays and teaches. The fuck— Wanda Maximoff (@BreeDaAuraGod_) September 6, 2018
Why is Nicki Minaj treating Geoffrey Owens like a public charity case? I’m sure he isn’t mad about getting $25k, but letting everyone know about it like you’re saving his life puts him in an awkward spot.— ↠• ṂØṄIℂẠ •↞ (@MonicaExplains) September 6, 2018
I get Nicki Minaj is trying to be nice and helpful but isn't that kind of a slap in the face to Geoffrey Owens? Not trying to throw shade, just genuinely asking.. He's making an honest living, what's the problem with that? #QueenRadio— Katie (@cadams47) September 6, 2018
In regards to the Geoffrey Owens situation, I much prefer Tyler Perry's gesture over Nicki Minaj's. Imo if she wanted to drop him money it shoulda been done quietly and not for (what appears to be) media attention..— 🌬R4 (@remivxx) September 6, 2018
Sorry but Nicki Minaj is making this whole Geoffrey Owens situation about herself. He's a very proud man and isn't looking for a handout.— Shady McGrady (@downtheline18) September 6, 2018
“Nicki Minaj donating Geoffrey Owens 25K”— The Real 6 God (@G0ldBlood3d) September 7, 2018
Who the fuck said he wanted yall money? The man had a job, working hard, living his life & now yall throwing cash at him like he a charity case? If he wanted to act he could. There been offers. It wasnt paying well. Let him live HIS life
Geoffrey Owens sat in an interview and straight up said he wouldn't take a job that was offered to him over this whole thing, but Nicki Minaj tryin' to just hand him $25,000?— (cutaia) (@cutaia_net) September 6, 2018
Yo, Geoffrey Owens said he doesn’t want to be a charity case. He wants to hold his head up high in Hollywood. I hope @NICKIMINAJ asked him if the donation was okay as well as going public with it. Pride may goeth before the fall but working at Trader Joe’s ain’t the fall. https://t.co/Zf5DZrHpdi— AquaGirls (@AquarianGirls) September 6, 2018
There's no doubt that Nicki’s heart was in the right place, but hopefully she’ll use her head before chiming in next time.
(Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)