Jimmy Kimmel might be bitter – but he didn’t have to bring Quinta Brunson down with him.
On Sunday, Kimmel and Will Arnett did a little before announcing the winner of the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Emmy. In fact, Arnett dragged Kimmel to the Emmy ceremony stage by his feet because Kimmel was upset that his talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” lost the Emmy variety talk series to “Last Week Tonight.”
Kimmel remained on the floor, seemingly upset, when Arnett announced that Brunson had won in her category.
As the creator of “Abbott Elementary” walked onto the stage to give her acceptance speech, Kimmel stayed on the floor.
“Jimmy, wake up, I won,” Brunson told Kimmel, but didn’t flinch.
Kimmel remained on the floor throughout Brunson’s speech—and had to be dragged away after Brunson finished.
While some enjoyed Kimmel’s full commitment to the part, more were angry that he stole Brunson’s glow during her big moment.
TBEN’s “Abbott Elementary” is a family-friendly sitcom that airs on network television. But what makes this seemingly traditional comedy so fresh is that it’s a show created by a black woman (Brunson) and features a mostly black cast that doesn’t focus on “talking about being black all day long.” as Brunson told me. The New York Times in March. She explained to the newspaper that her show is more interested in “the lives of these people.”
“There have been recent sitcoms – ‘Black-ish’, ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ – really good sitcoms, but my generation was starting to get tired of race as the sole focus,” she said. “The white shows just had to be white, but a lot of the shows with people of color were about the color of the people and not stories of the people. So ‘Abbott’ also feels like a shift in that sense.”
Kimmel’s move also seems disrespectful because Brunson did Emmy history in July when the nominations were announced.
She landed nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. In doing so, she became the first black woman to score three nominations in the comedy categories in the same year.
Considering that Brunson only won one of these categories, Kimmel’s dedication to his bit feels a little weird.
After her speech, as she spoke to reporters, Brunson addressed Kimmel who was onstage during her moment.
‘I had a feeling the bit didn’t bother me so much… Tomorrow I might be mad at him. I’m going to his show on Wednesday, so maybe I’ll punch him in the face.”
Punch or not, I hope Brunson writes smoothly in reference to this Emmy moment during season 2 of “Abbott Elementary,” which airs next week on TBEN.