Quinta Brunson says she’s talked with Jimmy Kimmel since the late-night host’s extended bit continued during her Emmys acceptance speech for “Abbot Elementary” — though co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph still viewed it as “disrespect.”
“I’m anticipating that we are going to have a good old-fashioned time,” Brunson — who is set to tape her appearance on Kimmel’s show later Wednesday — said during “Abbott Elementary’s” virtual panel for ABC’s presentation at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
“I have talked with Jimmy since. And I think, no matter what, it’s important to just showcase that ‘Abbott Elementary’ is premiering next week, so that I will be doing. I think it’s going to be a good time and you’ll probably just have to tune in and watch.”
However, Ralph, also a newly minted Emmy winner for her supporting role on the show, did not see the incident as such, calling it a sign of “disrespect.”
Ralph said, “I was absolutely confused. I didn’t know what was going on. But I was like, ‘I wish that man would just get up off of the ground.’ And then I realized it was Jimmy Kimmel, and then I was just, ‘Ooh, the disrespect, Jimmy!’ But that’s just me, sorry. I am so sorry.” She added sarcastically, “Oh, 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,” Ralph concluded, which led fellow co-star Lisa Ann Walter to joke that Ralph has gotten “so bold” since her Emmy win.
Brunson, who also won a historic Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, previously spoke about the incident with reporters backstage at the awards ceremony Monday night. “I know Jimmy Kimmel, and I don’t know, I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much,” she said, adding, “I don’t know what the Internet thinks.”
A (confusing) bit featuring Kimmel and Will Arnett saw the latter drag the former’s “passed out” self across the Emmy stage. Kimmel laid there motionless for the entirety of Arnett’s announcement of the nominees — and as Brunson made her way to the stage and eventually gave her speech, which drew backlash on social media. Users noted their annoyance and irritation with the moment, particularly highlighting the fact that a white man was attempting to upstage an important career milestone for a Black woman. Brunson is only the second Black woman to win in the category, after Lena Waithe for “Master of None.”
During her speech, Brunson invited him to leave, which led Kimmel to simply gesture with a thumbs up. At the end of her heartfelt words, in which she thanked her extended family, husband and “Abbott” cast and crew, she quipped, “And Jimmy.”
Brunson told reporters after the fact that she was “wrapped up in the moment” and seemed to not mind the entire thing. The actress and EP joked, “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. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.”
“Abbott” will return with Season 2 on ABC on Sept. 21, with next-day streaming on Hulu.