'If I could take it back, I would,' Woman who took pic of Geoffrey Owens says she's sorry
The woman who started the whole Geoffrey Owens job-shaming controversy has now spoken up and apologized for her role in it. She regrets her actions and wishes she could take the whole thing back.
A few days ago, Karma Lawrence shared a photo of former “The Cosby Show” star Geoffrey Owens while he was working as a cashier at Trader Joe’s. Little did she know it would create a controversy and backfire on her. Today, she's sorry and reveals what she would tell Owens if she had a chance to speak to him.
When Lawrence posted the photo of Owens, she felt sorry for him in her caption upon seeing him working behind the counter knowing he was an actor. The post which went viral after Lawrence shared it to a few celebrity sites earned a ton of hate towards Lawrence accusing her of job-shaming Owens. Many expressed their disgust over the humiliation her post has caused Owens who was working a decent living to augment his earnings from his unstable acting career.
One of the celebrities who blasted Lawrence was Nicki Minaj who called her actions “stupid.” The singer has since donated $25,000 to Owens as a token of appreciation for living a dignified existence despite Lawrence’s insinuations.
Along with Minaj’s comments against her, Lawrence’s inbox and social media account received a lot of hate mail. A person even photoshopped devil horns on her head. In an interview with NJ Advance, Lawrence confessed, “it’s been terrible.” She said there was “so much hate, so much nastiness.” Her name came in handy for haters who used it in writing “Karma’s a [expletive].”
When asked why she did it, Lawrence said,
“I don’t know why I snuck a picture. I figured everybody does it. I don’t know what possessed me. I just did it. I didn’t even think about it. I just kind of did it on impulse and it was a bad impulse.”
This #LaborDay, we honor #geoffreyowens and ALL of the hard-working actors who work 1, 2, 3 day jobs in order to pay the bills, take care of their families & still work to entertain us. #ActorsWithDayJobs, share yours loud and proud! We’re here for you! https://t.co/9ZGmrefHeK— SAG-AFTRA Foundation (@sagaftraFOUND) September 3, 2018
The 50-year-old didn’t realize her post would gain so much backlash and bring out issues on job-shaming when she claimed she never meant any ill will. She also denied she was paid by any outlet to post photos of Owens.
Lawrence revealed she cried for half an hour after the story went viral and blew up in her face. She insisted she didn’t mean to humiliate.
“It wasn’t malicious. That’s on my kids, my grandkids, my parents. I’m not that type of a person. I’m not the monster they’re making me out to be.”
Again, why is this news? When I worked on “Thirtysomething” I was also summarizing depositions to pay my rent. Why are you trying to humiliate this honorable, hardworking actor? Shame on you! #geoffreyowens - many great blessings are coming your way! https://t.co/8tgvW3iixr— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) September 2, 2018
But despite feeling unfairly judged, Lawrence says she gets it now why people are upset and why the photo she posted which she has now deleted along with her social media account may have been embarrassing for Owens.
“I actually wanted to go up to him and say something, but I thought, you might embarrass him. But then I did something that actually embarrassed him more. I didn’t go with my first instinct, and I should’ve. I should’ve.”
Lawrence thought about reaching out to Owens and apologizing but was unsure how to go about it though she knows what she would say.
"I would tell him, ‘I am extremely, extremely apologetic about what has happened. And if I could take it back, I would.”
Meanwhile, Owens appeared on “Good Morning America” and thanked all his supporters. He also revealed why he was working at Trader Joe’s. He said he needed a job that was flexible and that would help pay the bills his teaching and acting can’t cover. He disclosed he’s been working for the store for 15 months and decided to quit after the whole controversy erupted. But he was welcome to return anytime.
FULL INTERVIEW: @GMA EXCLUSIVE -- "There's no job better than another...every job is worthwhile..." Actor Geoffrey Owens speaks out, responding to job shaming and backlash after a photo of him working at a grocery store was posted online: https://t.co/0wZJnpowI9 pic.twitter.com/aNiG5fV2yf— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 4, 2018