Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel is being accused of using his "white privilege" to upstage Quinta Brunson at the Emmy Awards ceremony.
While Brunson, creator and lead actress of ABC's hit show "Abbott Elementary," was accepting her award for best Writing for a Comedy Series, Kimmel acted out a skit in which Brunson was forced to step over his body.
When it was time to present the award, Will Arnett dragged Kimmel's body onto the stage and joked about Kimmel having drunk too many "skinny margaritas." But Kimmel never got up, and Brunson was forced to give her acceptance speech while standing over his body.
To her credit, Brunson remained professional throughout, gave a touching speech, and then left the stage.
Writing for a Comedy Series: 74th Emmy Awards www.youtube.com
The antics, however, did not go over well.
In fact, fans, especially black fans, saw the incident as yet another instance of a white man stealing the spotlight from the accomplishments of black women.
- "If #QuintaBrunson stepping over #JimmyKimmel who literally laid in her spotlight on the day she won an Emmy isn’t a metaphor for what it means to be a [women of color] in a white mans world I don’t know what is," Boston University professor Heba Gowayed said.
- "Jimmy Kimmel should have left the stage during Quinta’s speech. Highly disrespectful," HuffPost editor Philip Lewis said.
- "Jimmy Kimmel owes Quinta an apology but the messed up part is every image of her accepting her award has his a** in it. White men really are insufferable," Candice Marie Benbow said.
- "To me, what Jimmy Kimmel did is worst than Will Smith," one person said.
- "Where’s Will Smith when you need him?" another person reacted.
- "Just a reminder of how Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t seem to be able to let Black folks shine in really important moments," April Reign said.
- "I don’t know of a better example of invasive white male privilege than Jimmy Kimmel laying in the middle of Quinta Brunson’s #Emmys2022 speech. He had no business/right to take up space in the way that he did," another person said.
- "Caucasity is centering your unfunny self and joke as someone wins their first Emmy Award. Jimmy Kimmel ol’ by golly whillickers face a** owes Quinta an apology. Foolishness," Luvvie Ajayi said.
- "I really don't know how to define white, male privilege more clearly than Jimmy Kimmel not getting out of the way of Quinta Brunson's moment," another person said.
What did Brunson say later?
After the awards ceremony, Brunson was asked about Kimmel's controversial skit. She responded with total grace.
"I know Jimmy Kimmel, and I don’t know, I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much. I don’t know what the internet thinks," she said. "I know him. Jimmy gave me my first big late-night spot and was one of the first people to see ‘Abbott.' He Instagram messaged me that he saw this comedy and thought it was one of the greatest comedies of all time and he was so excited it was going to be on ABC."
"So in that moment I think I was just really happy that it was Jimmy up there. I kind of consider him one of the comedy godfathers," she continued.
"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," she quipped. "I don’t know. We'll see what happens."