Quinta Brunson got some revenge.
On Wednesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! the newly minted Emmy winner gave the host a taste of his own medicine by interrupting his opening monologue. At the 11:40 mark above, the actress/screenwriter/producer/author took the stage with a big smile and her award, which she received Monday for Abbott Elementary.
“I have a little favor to ask, actually,” Quinta told the comedian. “Yeah, so you know how when you win an Emmy, you only have 45 seconds to do an acceptance speech, which is like not that much time? And then someone does, like—you get less time because someone does a dumb comedy bit that goes on a bit too long?”
“You know, I have heard of that happening in, yeah, in previous years,” Kimmel deadpanned.
Brunson then let him know she’d be taking “a couple of extra minutes to thank, you know, the couple of extra people I didn’t get to on Monday night.” She went on to give her love to a handful of individuals, her Abbott Elementary writers and viewers, and “the internet, for raising me.”
During the 74th annual awards ceremony, Will Arnett physically dragged a pretending-to-be-unconscious Kimmel across the stage to present Best Writing in a Comedy Series. Arnett jokingly explained Jimmy had too much to drink after losing the Variety Talk Series award for the 13th time.
The Abbott Elementary star/creator walked up and briefly acknowledged Kimmel. “Wake up Jimmy, I won,” Quinta said. He remained on the floor throughout her speech, and was subsequently slammed online for tarnishing the moment. (Brunson told media it “didn’t bother me much” and that “tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him. I’m gonna be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face.”)
Congratulating her on winning her first Emmy in the interview portion of the episode, Kimmel joked, “I missed it, how did it go?” He then explained, “Now, that was a dumb comedy bit that, um, we thought it would be funny. … And then people got upset, they said I stole your moment, and maybe I did, and I’m very sorry if I did do that. I’m sorry I did do that, actually.
Quinta thanked him for his “very kind” apology. “I honestly was in such a moment of just having a good time, like, I won my first Emmy, I was up there happy. And I was wrapped up in the moment. … I don’t know, I didn’t see any of that,” she said of his and Arnett’s setup. “Thank you, that’s kind, but honestly I had a good night.”
At a TCA panel for the ABC series, Brunson’s co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph also weighed in, per Variety.
“I was absolutely confused. I didn’t know what was going on,” said Ralph, who nabbed her own first-ever Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and gave a stirring, musical acceptance speech. “I was like, ‘I wish that man would just get up off of the ground.’ And then I realized it was Jimmy Kimmel, and I was like, ‘Ooh, the disrespect, Jimmy!’ But that’s just me.”
The magazine said Ralph laughed and sarcastically added, “Sorry! I’m so sorry, it was lovely that he was lying on the floor during her wonderful acceptance speech! I told him, too! To his face! And he understood.”
See Quinta Brunson and Jimmy Kimmel’s full chat below.