One of the bigger controversies to emerge from a relatively muted Emmys 2022 was Jimmy Kimmel’s onstage presence during Quinta Brunson’s acceptance speech. After Brunson won the outstanding-writing-for-a-comedy-series Emmy for Abbott Elementary, Kimmel played dead at her feet as part of an ongoing bit. “Jimmy, wake up, I won,” Brunson joked at the beginning of her speech. He did not get up, remaining onstage at her feet throughout her speech after flashing her a thumbs up with his eyes still closed. Her last thank you, as she left the stage, was, “and Jimmy!” Later, she posed with the late-night host, and displaying her award directly over his face. Now, Kimmel has apologized for pulling focus.
After her Emmys win, Brunson jokingly told the press that while she was unbothered by Kimmel’s gag, she “might punch him in the face,” when she made her planned on his show Wednesday night. Instead, Brunson crashed Kimmel’s monologue, strutting on stage with her newly-earned accolade in hand. “You know how when you win an Emmy you only have 45 seconds to do an acceptance speech?” Brunson said. “And then someone does a dumb comedy bit that goes on a bit too long?”
Kimmel replied, “You know, I have heard of that happening in previous years.” He then retreated to the back of the stage, allowing Brunson a few minutes to thank those she missed on Emmys night on ABC—the very network on which Abbott airs.
Later in the show, Kimmel quipped, “Congratulations on your Emmy. I missed it, how did it go?” before showing a clip of his “dumb comedy bit.” He then noted that some, including fellow Abbott Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph, thought that Kimmel had stolen Brunson’s moment. “And maybe I did, and I’m very sorry if I did do that. I’m sorry I did do that, actually,” he continued. “And also, the last thing I would ever want to do is upset you, because I think so much of you. I think you know that. I hope you know that.”
Brunson graciously accepted Kimmel’s apology. “Jimmy, let me just say thank you,” she began. “It’s very kind of you to say that. Honestly, I was in such a moment of having a good time. I won my first Emmy! I was up there like, you know, happy! And I was wrapped up in the moment, just having a good time. I didn’t see any of that….honestly, I had a good night. It was a good night and a good time.”
Kimmel also acknowledged that he’s never won an Emmy, despite earning 18 nominations. “And I went one time and won,” Brunson gamely replied. The late-night host offered one last mea culpa: “I was dumb, and I’ve got news—it’s gonna happen again.”