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Tyler Perry offers Geoffrey Owens acting gig after actor 'job-shamed'

Now a successful director, producer and actor, Tyler Perry faced several hardships early in his career. In an open message to Owens, he said he had respect for "people who hustle between gigs."

ATLANTA -- One of Atlanta's most successful media moguls has offered a fellow actor a job after a national story showed him working at a Trader Joe's in New Jersey.

Geoffrey Owens' story -- or at least a photo of him working at a grocery store -- went viral but also drew backlash on Twitter where users condemned media outlets for shaming the former Bill Cosby show actor. During the show's run, Owens played Elvin, Cosby's on-air son-in-law.

Now, Tyler Perry is offering the actor a job on his latest project. The actor, producer and director behind several movies including the hit "Madea" movie series took to Twitter to make the offer.

"I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week," Perry wrote. "Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist."

Perry is also the man behind OWN's hit drama "The Haves and the Have Nots" that films in Atlanta.

Despite his current status in the movie business, Perry has spoken regularly about his own struggles early in his career. In 2016, Perry spoke to graduates at Tuskegee University and told them that, when writing his early plays, he often did odd jobs ranging from bill collector to car salesman in Atlanta to keep him going until the next show.

He added that there were times where he wasn't just without a job, but also without a home, while pursuing his dream.

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It's a situation Owens himself was trying to avoid as he awaits his next acting gig. That's why he took the job he said on Good Morning America.

Perry's offer could be a big opportunity for Owens, but the actor has recently spoken up for himself adding that he wasn't ashamed of his job and that he would rather not be given an acting job just from this publicity - but rather an audition.

"I actually wouldn't feel comfortable (with) someone giving me a job because this happened," he said. "I want to get a job because I'm the right person for that job."

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Owens thanked all the people who came to his defense saying that their kind words helped him through the unwanted, and unkind, limelight. However, negative the initial publicity may have been, Owens hopes it helps bring a new understanding to the conversation of employment.

"Every job is worthwhile and valuable, and if we have a kind of a rethinking about that because of what’s happened to me," he said. "That would be great."