‘Cosby Show’ star job-shamed for bagging groceries turns ridicule into inspiration.

Just because someone’s a celebrity doesn’t mean they’re set for life. Landing a role on a hit TV show is a one-in-a-million opportunity and replicating that success is an even rarer feat.

Karma Lawrence, 50, was astonished when she saw Geoffrey Owens, 57, bagging groceries at her local Trader Joe’s in Clifton, New Jersey.

Owens played Cliff Huxtable's (Bill Cosby) son-in-law, Doctor Elvin Tibideaux, on “The Cosby Show” from 1985 to 1992. Since, he has worked consistently as a guest star on numerous TV shows including: "Law & Order," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and "Lucifer."


Lawrence snapped a few photos of Owens and they ran in a story published in the Daily Mail.

“It was a shock to see him working there and looking the way he did,” Lawrence told the Daily Mail. “It made me feel really bad. I was like, ‘Wow, all those years of doing the show and you ended up as a cashier.’ ”

Images of Owens looking uncomfortable while being photographed on-the-job quickly went viral. Countless news organizations ran “where are they now” stories on Owens that seemed to ridicule his new job.

The photos and stories inspired a social media backlash.

Owens had to quit his job at Trader Joe's because of the unwanted attention.

On Tuesday, September 4, Owens appeared on “Good Morning America” to share how the initial ridicule evolved into something very positive.

“I was really devastated, but the period of devastation was so short,” Owens told "Good Morning America" while proudly wearing his Trader Joe's name tag.

"My wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world. Fortunately, the shame part didn't last very long," he said.

Some of those responses came from people in the entertainment industry.

Owens told “Good Morning America” that working at Trader Joe's was a positive experience because it allowed him to continue pursuing acting roles.

“I had been teaching acting, directing for 30-plus years, but it got to a point where it just didn't add up enough," Owens said. "I wanted a job that had some flexibility [to] stay in the business.”

Trader Joe’s provides its employees with flexible schedules to encourage their health and well-being.

Owens hopes his story has caused people to realize that all work is noble, regardless of pay or status. "Every job is worthwhile and valuable,” he said.

The actor, who starred on an episode of “Elementary” earlier this year, says he’s been contacted about acting jobs, but hopes to earn them through successful auditions, not sympathy.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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