Jimmy Kimmel sparked backlash in the wake of his comedy skit during Monday night’s Emmy Awards, as critics accused Kimmel of stealing the spotlight from winner Quinta Brunson.
During the award ceremony, Kimmel and Will Arnett presented the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, with Arnett dragging Kimmel onto the stage, who was pretending to have passed out from drinking too many margaritas. Arnett quipped that Kimmel had drowned his sorrows backstage due to disappointment, this being the “13th time in a row that he’s lost.”
It was an amusing skit, but the joke was stretched past breaking point when Brunson took the stage to accept the prize for her ABC series Abbott Elementary (her first Emmy), and Kimmel remained on stage, lying right next to Brunson, making it impossible to capture Brunson’s speech without including Kimmel’s body in the frame.
Brunson made an attempt to rouse Kimmel, jokingly stating, “Jimmy, wake up. I won.” Kimmel responded with a thumbs up, but remained on the floor, seemingly under the impression that his skit was too hilarious to stop. After a few awkward glances downward, Brunson decided to ignore him, and continued with her acceptance speech. After she was done, Arnett dutifully dragged Kimmel offstage – Kimmel committed to the bit until the very end.
Twitter soon lit up with outrage, as Abbot Elementary fans expressed anger at Kimmel for drawing so much attention to himself during Brunson’s big moment. Brunson’s fans, who have watched her ascend from creating viral Instagram videos, to Buzzfeed, to creating an Emmy-award winning show, felt that Kimmel’s commitment to his joke was in poor taste, coming across as deeply entitled.
Many expressed frustration that there wasn’t a single shot of Brunson’s acceptance speech that didn’t include Kimmel – one Twitter user even went so far as to photoshop him out of the moment.
hile Kimmel clearly misjudged the situation, Brunson didn’t seem to hold a grudge. After the ceremony, Brunson seemed keen to move on from the awkward moment, telling reporters:
“I think in that moment, I was just really happy that it was Jimmy up there … I don’t know, 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. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
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