“Abbott Elementary” creator and star Quinta Brunson is scheduled to appear on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday, after the late-night host’s highly criticized stage stunt at Monday’s Emmys during Brunson’s acceptance speech.
Kimmel’s Emmy gag of pretending to be passed out on the stage, forcing Brunson to step over his lifeless body to give her acceptance speech drew more criticism during a virtual “Abbott Elementary” panel for the Television Critics Association Wednesday, ahead of the show’s second-season premiere next week (Wednesday, 9 EDT/PDT).
Sheryl Lee Ralph, who won an Emmy Monday night for best supporting actress, said she was at first confused by the joke.
“When I realized that was Jimmy Kimmel, I was like, ‘Oh, the disrespect, Jimmy.’ (But) that’s just me,” said Ralph, who added sarcastically. “Sorry, I thought it was wonderful that he was lying on the floor during (Brunson’s) wonderful acceptance speech.”
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“I love Jimmy Kimmel, but I’m sorry,” Ralph added. “I told him to his face and he understood.”
Cast member Lisa Ann Walter said, “I thought it played funny in my room. That was my feeling about the bit.”
Kimmel was dragged across the stage by Will Arnett to present the outstanding comedy writing Emmy. Arnett explained that Kimmel was drunk on skinny margaritas after losing the variety/talk category again to John Oliver’s HBO series “Last Week Tonight.”
Brunson took the stage-blocking in stride Monday night, joking, “Jimmy, wake up. I won.” But Twitter erupted, dragging Kimmel for drawing attention from the “Abbott Elementary” creator and star’s first Emmy win.
Backstage, Brunson also played nice with Kimmel, a longtime friend and “Abbott Elementary” supporter, but joked that she “might punch him in the face” when she appears on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
On Wednesday, Brunson said she would be leaving the panel to tape the episode of the late night show.
“I am anticipating that we are going to have a good old-fashioned time,” Brunson said, adding that she has spoken to Kimmel since the incident. She would give no other preview information.
“I guess you’ll just have to tune in and watch,” Brunson added.
The “Abbott Elementary” cast said at the TCA panel that it was a thrill to return to shooting the workplace series with three Emmy wins, including best casting for a comedy series.
“We got to celebrate with the crew too. That was great,” said Tyler James Williams. “It felt like one long day. They got a chance to celebrate as well because this is just as much their win as ours.”