Former EastEnders actor Katie Jarvis, who was shamed by newspapers for working in a shop, has been praised for an interview in which she said she felt “degraded”, “really embarrassed” and “quite ashamed” by the reports.
Jarvis, best known for her role in Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, appeared on Victoria Derbyshire's BBC morning show to discuss her treatment by the papers over the weekend.
The actor played Hayley Slater on EastEnders for a year before departing the soap in February 2019. She has since found employment as a security guard in a B&M discount store in London, which was reported by a number of tabloid newspapers.
She told Derbyshire: “Over my career I’ve done my best to keep away from social gatherings and celebrity things to keep my private life as private as possible so to wake up with my kids and see myself on the front pages just for simply having a job in between my acting, it really did hurt me.”
Twitter users were united in their agreement that Jarvis should be commended for the interview.
Jarvis, who said she felt empowered to “stand up” for the working class, called her B&M colleagues “amazing”, adding: “They get up every day and work hard for their money and it doesn’t matter what job you’re doing, I don’t think anyone should be made to feel how I did when I woke up.”
EastEnders actor Gillian Taylforth tweeted: “So much love and respect for Katie Jarvis. Hard work [being] a jobbing actor. Actors are allowed ‘normal’ jobs too, you know.”
Several Twitter users have compared the treatment of Jarvis to that of the former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens.
Owens was photographed working in a Trader Joe’s supermarket in 2018 and shamed by a number of tabloid newspapers, leading to viral tweets from actors explaining the realities of the acting profession and how difficult it is to make a living exclusively from performing.
“I am sick and tired of seeing this happen,” actor Danny Hatchard tweeted. “Tabloids have clearly not learnt a single thing from the Geoffrey Owens story.
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