Quinta Brunson had to give her historic Emmy speech over Jimmy Kimmel’s prone body

I feel like we shouldn’t be giving this moment any more oxygen because that’s obviously what he wanted, but people have been talking about it all day so here we are. Last night, Quinta Brunson won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Abbott Elementary. Her win for the much-beloved show was well-deserved and also historic: Quinta is only the third Black writer and the second Black female writer to win that award. But, like other Black achievements (see also: Moonlight and Will Smith), there’s an asterisk next to it in the form of Jimmy Kimmel’s prone body. He was one of the presenters for her category and did a bit where he “passed out” after drinking about his own loss. And he didn’t get up when Quinta’s name was announced, making her step over him to accept her award and lying on the stage throughout her speech. Jerk.

Quinta Brunson is officially an Emmy winner!

The 32-year-old writer won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Abbott Elementary.

Quinta’s category was presented by Will Arnett and Jimmy Kimmel, who did this bit where Jimmy laid flat on the ground because he had too many “skinny margaritas” after losing his category.

You’d think that he’d end the whole lying-flat-on-the-ground bit and get up once Quinta had won, but nope.

He continued to lie there, like this, throughout her acceptance speech.

Quinta handled it like a pro, even laughing and placing her phone on his body.

But people were not happy, calling Jimmy out for taking attention away from Quinta.

They also called him out for “white male privilege.”

UPDATE: Both Quinta and Jimmy have responded. Quinta told Variety:
“I don’t know. I know Jimmy Kimmel and I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much. I don’t know what the internet thinks. Jimmy gave me my first late night spot and was one of the first people to see Abbott. I think in that moment, I was really happy that it was Jimmy up there. I kind of consider him one of the comedy godfathers, and I’m a huge fan of Will Arnett, so I was wrapped up in the moment. I don’t know, 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. We’ll see what happens.”

And Jimmy told 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. She is so unbelievably talented. And I saw her pilot before it came out on ABC, and I wrote to her, and I was like, ‘I don’t know how we got this, but congratulations. You made a pilot that any network would be ecstatic to get.’ She’s a lovely person as well.”

[From Buzzfeed]

Jimmy Kimmel is such a tool and a quick scan of the headlines shows that he is being roundly criticized as such. It was petty and immature and ungracious of him to draw so much attention to himself during a young, Black woman’s big moment. Maybe he would have done the same regardless of the winner, but to do it to Quinta — a first-time winner, a young woman, a young Black woman, a person who seems so kind and thoughtful — was especially douchey. His response was predictably ridiculous: doubling down on the bit, but praising Quinta. Quinta handled it graciously (of course) because she had to (of course), saying it didn’t bother her much, Jimmy has always been supportive, and joked she might punch him when she appears on his show this week. I guess she has to since it’s all in the ABC family. I’m glad Quinta is not letting this detract/distract from her win and I hope her whole appearance on the show isn’t dedicated to his dumb bit. Maybe they can talk instead about how the show donates a portion of its budget to underfunded teachers.

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30 Responses to “Quinta Brunson had to give her historic Emmy speech over Jimmy Kimmel’s prone body”

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  1. Yup, Me says:

    I thought it was funny when she said “Get up, Jimmy, I won!” And then put her phone on him. It was playful and improvisational and familiar- like friends.

    I also thought it was goofy and awkward that she had to navigate the space in heels and a dress around his prone body.

    I don’t think it’s a huge deal but I get why people are annoyed by his choice not to stop the bit. Will Arnett (and others) should have dragged him back offstage (but faster) to complete the moment and give Quinta her space and time.

    • andrea says:

      I disagree, it was completely unacceptable. He should never be invited back and Quinta Brunson acted like the gracious person she so clearly is.

      • Emme says:

        Totally agree, and as I’m a bad bitch I think I might have “accidentally” dropped that heavy-looking award on this rotund belly, with an “Oops, butter fingers!”
        You know, he likes a joke doesn’t he? 😈

    • Bambilee23 says:

      This! I completely agree. I can understand why people feel upset about it, but she was a total queen who stayed present in the moment and contributed to the bit in such a funny way! She didn’t get distracted or bothered by it, she made a funny joke about it and moved on! Plus as part of the video version, it was just her and her beautiful face. I couldn’t even think about him being on the ground because I was so captured by her. Plus this drama is really only bringing more publicity to THE FACT THAT SHE WON!!!! Everyone knows Jimmy’s schtick. It’s not new or newsworthy. In fact he probably really was so drunk that he couldn’t stand up. But it doesn’t matter! She won!! Yay! Well deserved!

      • KC says:

        @Bambilee23, I tend to agree with you. She seemed chill and played off of it so it doesn’t seem like she was too bothered AND quite honestly the is bringing even MORE attention to her so no loss there. Also, as a black woman, if I were her I would have made some comment to the effect of “hold on, let me just step over this here WHITE MAN’s (pretend, not-dead-but-passed-out) body” and then just smile! Anyway, I’m amused. Thanks for extending her minutes of fame, Jimmy!😂

      • KC says:

        @Bambilee23, I tend to agree with you. His little stunt is bringing even MORE attention to her and it’s not something as eclipsing as the Will Smith sitch. As a black woman, if I were her, I would be laughing my head off privately (and maybe even with Kimmel) about how I just won OVER A WHITE MAN’s (pretend, not-dead-but-passed-out) body! Actually I’m not her and I’m amused. Thanks for extending her minutes of fame, Jimmy!😂

  2. TheOriginalMia says:

    The joke was over and he should have gotten out of her way. It was rude, but as usual a black person has to be gracious and understanding of some white person’s nonsense less they be accused of being angry and ungrateful. She’ll never get that moment back, but he’ll also never have that elusive Emmy he craves.

    • BlueSky says:

      This right here! Of course she has to say “I’m fine” because if she doesn’t she will be put in the “angry black woman” category. He’s an a-hole and he took away her moment. It’s so funny how when it’s a black woman, everyone wants to be dismissive like it’s no big deal. I guarantee you it would be a different story had been white. This was so triggering and upsetting to me as a BW. White man that has to center himself in everything and we as women have to infantilize these a-holes or else we will get punished. He didn’t win because he’s not funny. Quinta’s burps are funnier than him. He better apologize to her on his show.

      • Andrea says:

        Sorry, it’s upsetting and I totally agree with you. Dude, stand up and offer the talented women a congratulations.

      • Kelly says:

        This. I had so many arguments on Facebook with white dudes who used the argument that she said she wasn’t offended. Of course she had to say that! I’m a white woman and have to minimize my feelings and reactions, I can’t imagine how many times a day a woman of color has to.

      • Ms. Downs says:

        💯 @kelly. Well said.

    • Athyrmose says:


      I’m tired of Black people being engaged in forgiveness narratives.

      His stunt getting in the way of her historic win is typical white liberal shenanigans.

      • sunny says:

        Hard agree.

      • QuiteContrary says:

        Jimmy Kimmel was also the host of the Oscars when “La La Land” was announced as the best picture winner — when actually “Moonlight” had won. He wasn’t the reason for that mix-up, but he made it worse when he said something like, “Let’s give both of them Oscars.”
        No, Jimmy. The white movie doesn’t get a trophy, too.

        Quinta Brunson is amazing, and she deserved her moment without some white guy ruining it. “Abbott Elementary” also deserved the best comedy award over the second season of “Ted Lasso.”

  3. Josephine says:

    It ticked me off. It was her moment and while he might have thought she would enjoy the joke, he didn’t think hard enough. That’s really the privilege of being white – just doing what you want to do without thinking about how it might affect others. He definitely took away from the moment.

  4. Gibby says:

    That was such a fake ass apology! I didn’t know where I was? NO you did, you are an ass and should have popped your giant white butt up, clapped and went back stage like a person, or even when she put her phone on him and said get up, he should have jumped up even at that point said congrats and gotten to the side. But laying like a dead carp just is disrespectful.

  5. Eowyn says:

    Always someone ready to say a racist act isn’t racist. He stole her moment. Lots of white men and women have a very hard time with Black women getting any attention at all, much less serious recognition and accolades.
    So many Black women can recount lifetimes of similar intrusions on big career moments, and also with more personal milestones.

  6. Paulkid says:

    I hope Quinta responds by creating an unseen student character named Jimmy. Then each episode of season 2 can have teacher corrections. “Jimmy, it’s not always about you.” “Class clowns are supposed to be funny.” ” Where is Jimmy? Of course, on the floor again.”” “Do you know where you are?” Hopefully, the adult Jimmy will be embarrassed and learn respect. As a viewer, I would look forward to her digs!

    • Lucy says:

      😂 This would be perfect 😂

      The only thing I disagree with her on is he is not a godfather of comedy. FFS he got his start on The Man Show, which is years and years of him being gross and misogynist while different girls jump on trampolines. I only watch his interviews when the guest is amazing. He’s not it.

    • Yonati says:

      LOVE that idea, @Paulkid

  7. Christine says:

    He should have gotten up as soon as her name was called, but *especially* after she joked back before her speech. She gave him the perfect out to “complete his joke” or whatever. This was inappropriate and he deserves the backlash. Quinta was extremely gracious with her response.

    • lucy2 says:

      This – he had multiple opportunities to end it and get out of her way.
      I agree she’s being very gracious about it, and we all know what the media reaction would be if she wasn’t.
      I truly hope this didn’t dim her excitement and pride in her award. I adore her show SOOO much, and she deserves all the accolades.

  8. HeyKay says:

    Kimmel was not funny. Rude and stupid.
    The awards shows are so awful these days they should just stop televising them all.
    When the Oscars started it was a luncheon at the studio and a short program.
    Carson and Bob Hope used to host and it was a short program and people acted like adults, not clowns like Kimmel.

  9. Blue Nails Betty says:

    What makes this even worse is she’s going on his show tonight, he’ll offer a heartfelt apology, she will graciously accept it…then he’ll crack a stupid joke that proves his apology wasn’t sincere after all. And she’ll be expected to laugh it off.

    God forbid a white male comic be denied some laughter.

  10. Case says:

    Such a thoughtless move. Every single picture of her historic win includes him at the bottom. It’s gross.

    “I had my eyes closed, I had no idea where I was.” Uh no, that excuse doesn’t work when she literally stepped over him and told him it was time to get up.

  11. detritus says:

    Kimmel has always been a donkey. His second act as woke is okay, I actually like him but never forget the Man Show.

    • elle says:

      This is like a toddler thinking they’re invisible when they cover their eyes.

      Apparently Jimmy’s ears don’t work when his eyes are closed.

  12. Regina Falangie says:

    I will never forget how he and Adam Corolla had THE MAN SHOW. It was a disgusting piece of trash, like they both are. It always ended with young women jumping on trampolines. Trash then, trash now.

  13. HeyJude says:

    Wait the guy behind the “Man Show” with a bit called jumping trampoline girls has zero awareness or sense of decency?! I’m shocked!

  14. Valerie says:

    I didn’t even notice him after she took the stage, but he still should have gotten up. He could have made a quick, quiet exit. The camera could’ve stayed trained on her to avoid further interruption.