Former 'American Idol' Host Says He's Now Working as Uber Driver to 'Be There for My Son'
Brian Dunkleman hit back on social media following a TMZ report that appeared to job-shame him for working as an Uber driver.
“I chose to stop doing standup comedy and started driving an Uber so I could be there for my son as much as he needed after our life as we knew it was destroyed," Dunkleman tweeted Thursday after the report was published.
Dunkleman, 47, hosted the original "American Idol" alongside Ryan Seacrest for just one season before quitting the show. Since then, he's worked as a comedian and appeared on several reality TV shows.
He's currently in the middle of a divorce and custody battle with his wife, publicist Kalea Dunkleman. TMZ learned of Dunkleman's current occupation from financial documents filed in connection with the ongoing divorce.
Dunkleman took to Twitter after the report was published to set the record straight. "And I make over a grand on a good week motherf***er," he added.
Josh George, an actor who uses Uber to supplement his income, told Inside Edition it's fairly common. "If you're in L.A., any Uber driver you talk to is probably an actor, a writer, a producer," he said.
Dunkleman is not alone in facing scrutiny for his career after Hollywood.
Last year, "Cosby Show" star Geoffrey Owens was photographed working at a Trader Joe's. The picture was picked up by a number of media outlets, prompting many people to accuse those outlets of job-shaming the actor and speak out in Owens' defense.
“Again, why is this news? When I worked on ‘Thirtysomething’ I was also summarizing depositions to pay my rent,” “The Middle” star Patricia Heaton wrote on Twitter. “Why are you trying to humiliate this honorable, hardworking actor? Shame on you!"
Owens eventually appeared on "Good Morning America" to talk about the viral story, admitting that he was initially "devastated" when it first began to pick up steam, but when he saw how many people had rallied around him, he was moved.
"Every job is worthwhile and valuable," he said. "I've had a great life. I've had a great career ... so no one has to feel sorry for me. I'm doing fine."
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