Quinta Brunson Reacts to Jimmy Kimmel Lying on Stage During Emmys Acceptance Speech

It was a moment of attempted comedy that elicited a huge backlash after Quinta Brunson won her first Emmy Award for “Abbott Elementary” on Monday’s Emmys broadcast.

The creator and star of the hit ABC comedy won for Best Writing, but it’s what was happening around her — or more specifically, beneath her — that didn’t sit well with many watching from home. It all started with a comedy bit that was as awkwardly received as most on the night, but the consensus seems to be it carried on too long.

The bit saw Will Arnett drag a prone Jimmy Kimmel all the way to the microphone stand to present the award. His explanation was that Kimmel had imbibed a bit too much after again losing the Variety/Talk Series category to John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight.”

The problem was that even after Brunson was announced and made her way to the stage, the late-night host did not move. Instead, Arnett swung Kimmel’s legs around to give Brunson room at the mic and she had to stand next to his “unconscious” body.

He did give her a quick thumbs up when she leaned down and told him adorably that she won. As the internet uproar over the perceived disrespect kicked off immediately, Brunson was asked about the bizarre moment backstage.

“I know Jimmy Kimmel, and I don’t know, I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much,” she told a reporter, as captured on video by Variety, acknowledging in a mutter, “I don’t know what the internet things.”

The internet did not like it one bit. No ma’am, they did not!

She went on to heap praise on Kimmel, calling him one of her show’s biggest supporters and describing him as “one of the comedy godfathers.” Of the moment itself, she said, “I felt like the bit didn’t bother me much.”

She went on to say that he gave her her first big late-night opportunity, and was one of the first people to see her show and champion it.

“I don’t know,” she said. “Tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him.”

She then added, “I’m going to be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

Brunson’s win was one of two huge moments for “Abbott Elementary” and its stars. Sheryl Lee Ralph gave the night’s most powerful speech after picking up the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. She became only the second Black woman ever to win the category, and the first since Jackée Harry did it back in 1987 for “227.”

“Abbott Elementary” kicks off its second season on Wednesday, September 21 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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