The Emmy Awards came and went last night, but not without its own share of controversy. While it’s not at the level of the infamous Oscar slap, it’s still got people up in arms.
It all started with a seemingly harmless bit: Actor Will Arnett dragged Jimmy Kimmel, who was pretending to be passed out, out on stage to present the award for best writing in a comedy series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Arnett joked that it was the “13th time in a row that he’s lost and he just got into the skinny margaritas back there.”
When it was announced that Quinta Brunson won for her work on “Abbott Elementary,” Arnett attempted to push Kimmel out of the way. Kimmel, on his part, did not move.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brunson told Kimmel, “Jimmy, wake up. I won.” While Kimmel gave Brunson a thumbs-up, he still didn’t move. Brunson stepped over Kimmel and proceeded to give her speech while Kimmel continued to lie on the floor. After Brunson’s speech, Arnett dragged Kimmel off the stage.
Why are people so mad at Jimmy Kimmel?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the internet is not amused at Kimmel’s bit. Many accuse him of stealing Brunson’s spotlight, making Brunson’s moment all about him and exhibiting white privilege.
Others have tied Kimmel’s Emmy moment back to his other moments of alleged racism and insensitivity. According to CNN, Kimmel has addressed his history of donning blackface to portray Black celebrities.
In 2020, Kimmel called his sketches “embarrassing,” saying “... it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices.”
Nothing will happen to Jimmy Kimmel for stealing Quinta Brunson’s moment as the first Black woman to win a solo Emmy for writing on a show she created.— Ola Ojewumi (@Olas_Truth) September 13, 2022
Anyone who calls this a pattern of Kimmel’s racism will get dragged despite him doing Blackface twice and using the n-word. pic.twitter.com/Olq7qeviwu
What did Quinta Brunson say?
According to People, Brunson addressed Kimmel’s bit in the Emmys press room after the award show. “... I know Jimmy Kimmel and I don’t know. I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much.”
Brunson mentioned Kimmel was one of her biggest supporters — according to her, he was one of the first people to see her show, “Abbott Elementary,” and was very supportive.
“So, I think, in that moment, I was just really happy that it was Jimmy up there. I kind of consider him one of the comedy godfathers,” Brunson continued, saying she was also a “huge fan” of Arnett.
Brunson ended by joking that she might “punch him in the face” during her appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” later this week.