On Sunday, Kimmel and Will Arnett did a bit before announcing the winner of the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Emmy. Basically Arnett dragged Kimmel onto the Emmy ceremony stage by his feet because Kimmel was upset that his talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” lost the variety talk series Emmy once again to “Last Week Tonight.”
Kimmel remained on the floor, seemingly upset, as Arnett announced that Brunson had won in her category.
As the “Abbott Elementary” creator walked onstage to give her acceptance speech, Kimmel remained on the floor.
“Jimmy, wake up, I won,” Brunson told Kimmel, but he didn’t budge.
Kimmel stayed on the floor for the entirety of Brunson’s speech — and had to be dragged off after Brunson was done.
Although some enjoyed that Kimmel fully committed to the bit, more were upset that he stole Brunson’s shine during her big moment.
ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” is a family-friendly sitcom that airs on network television. But what makes this seemingly traditional comedy feel so fresh is that it’s a show created by a Black woman (Brunson) and it stars a predominantly Black cast that doesn’t focus on “talking about being Black all day,” as Brunson told The New York Times in March. She explained to the newspaper that her show is more interested in “these people’s lives.”
“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 only focal point,” she said. “The white shows got to just be white, but a lot of the shows with people of color were about the color of the people and not about stories of the people. So ‘Abbott’ also feels like a shift in that way.”
Kimmel’s move also seems disrespectful because Brunson made 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 won only one of these categories makes Kimmel’s commitment to his bit feel a bit off.
After her speech, while speaking to reporters, Brunson addressed Kimmel lying on the stage during her moment.
“I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much.... Tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him. I’m going to be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face.”
Punch or not, here’s hoping Brunson slickly writes in a reference to this Emmy moment during Season 2 of “Abbott Elementary,” which begins airing on ABC next week.