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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Interview: Malcolm-Jamal Warner defends Geoffrey Owens, thinks the Trader Joe’s brouhaha will ‘garner a lot of work’ for the actor

Originally posted Thursday, September 6, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Malcolm-Jamal Warner offered a full-throated defense of his former “Cosby Show” colleague Geoffrey Owens on Instagram after Owens was mocked for working at Trader Joe’s.

In an interview today on the set of Fox’s “The Resident” in Conyers where he plays a surgeon, Warner said “this will garner a lot of work for Geoffrey especially at a time we’re so sick of how horrible people can be on social media. It’s really heartwarming how social media has rallied around Geoffrey.”

“All actors with any kind of longevity has had dry spells,” he added. “What happened this past week will be the kick that his dry spell needed.”

He acknowledged “the grind” most actors go through to earn steady income. “People have this misconception that just because someone is on television, they’re financially well off for the rest of their lives,” he said. “A lot of actors get caught up in that misconception... You can only respect an actor who is legally doing whatever it is they need to do to keep those bills paid that keep coming even if the jobs aren’t coming.” 

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Warner on his Instagram noted that Owens is a Yale graduate and accomplished theater actor “with intimate knowledge of Shakespeare as an actor and director” that would put “many of us to shame.”

He noted that a job at Trader Joe’s is not a “career change you dumbf***s out there, it’s a placeholder gig that allows flexibility to go on auditions and then to take time off to go work when booking said auditions.” 

On “The Resident,” Warner plays A.J. “The Raptor” Austin, a cardiothoracic surgeon who he describes as “good but not nice.” He showed up for a three-episode arc at the end of season one but was upped to regular status season two, which returns Monday, September 24 at 8 p.m.

My interview with Warner in 2010 when he performed at Joyce Littel’s Poetry and Passion event. 

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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