The 2022 Emmy Awards went forward mostly without incident, except for a controversial bit by Jimmy Kimmel, which involved him playing dead on stage while the “Abbott Elementary” series creator and writer was accepting her award.
Kimmel got dragged out onto the stage by actor Will Arnett, who then announced the winner for best writing in a comedy series. Series creator and writer Quinta Brunson looked down at Kimmel playing dead on stage and said, “Jimmy, wake up. I won. Jimmy?” But Kimmel didn’t budge, instead committing to the bit for the entirety of her speech.
Brunson herself wasn’t mad about the comedy act, Yahoo Entertainment reported. She later told the press backstage, “I don’t know. I know Jimmy Kimmel. The bit didn’t bother me that much. Honestly, Jimmy gave me my first big late night spot, he was one of the first people to see ‘Abbott Elementary.’ He was the first person to message me on Instagram. … He was so excited it was going to be on ABC.”
“I was happy it was Jimmy,” she continued. “He’s one of the comedy godfathers. … Tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him.” Brunson also said she might “punch him in the face” when she goes on his late-night show Wednesday evening.
Kimmel kept up the gag when asked about it, jokingly telling Entertainment Tonight, “I had my eyes closed, I had no idea where I was. It was one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened to me.”
Meanwhile, fans who saw the spectacle weren’t nearly so forgiving.
“I don’t know of a better example of invasive white male privilege than Jimmy Kimmel laying in the middle of Quinta Brunson’s #Emmys2022 speech. He had no business/right to take up space in the way that he did,” one person fumed.
“I was going to make this into a meme about who Quinta and Jimmy represent in academia but I’m just tired,” another wrote. “It’s in every damn field, on every stage, in every venue. I’m tired of Black women having to exert grace, maneuver around roadblocks, and share their spotlight for no reason.”
“Jimmy Kimmel owes Quinta an apology but the messed up part is every image of her accepting her award has his ass in it,” a third person shared. “White men really are insufferable.”
Brunson was nominated for two other Emmys, making her the first black woman to be nominated three times in the comedy category, Page Six noted. Her only win of the night was for the ABC comedy series “Abbott Elementary.”