Kimmel presented the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series with Will Arnett, who dragged Kimmel onto the stage and joked that Kimmel ‘got into the meager margaritas’ at the theater bar after losing in a previous category .
After the “Abbott Elementary” creator and star was announced the winner for writing the popular sitcom’s pilot, Kimmel remained on the ground at the base of the mic stand. It remained there throughout Brunson’s acceptance speech and during the commercial break, nearly two minutes in total.
Pictures shared by a ceremony attendee showed Arnett removing Kimmel’s body from the stage at the end of the segment.
Brunson, unfazed, used his limited time to thank the Abbott Elementary team, her family and her husband, but not without a dig at Kimmel: “Jimmy, wake up. I won!”
Kimmel remained off-camera for the duration of Brunson’s speech, which lasted about a minute.
Later backstageBrunson addressed the moment, saying the track “didn’t bother me that much,” adding that Kimmel was one of his early supporters and “Abbott Elementary.”
“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 joked.
It would be the last time Brunson would appear on stage on Monday. “Ted Lasso” won “Abbott Elementary” in the Outstanding Comedy category, his second win in as many years.
Although Brunson’s win was widely celebrated — ‘Abbott Elementary’ is a huge hit, ABC’s most successful comedy in years — many viewers chastised Kimmel for not giving up the spotlight, especially to a black woman accepting her first Emmy. (Kimmel, meanwhile, has been nominated for 18 Emmys and won two since 2012.)
Sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen, who studies race in the entertainment industry, praised Brunson for “Abbott Elementary,” which has a mostly black cast and is set in an underfunded public school in Philadelphia. But she didn’t think much about Kimmel’s joke: “And presenter Jimmy Kimmel, stand up, that’s not funny and rude,” Yuen tweeted.
Philadelphia Magazine editor Ernest Owens said he was angered by Kimmel, that he said was “trying to distract” from Brunson’s victory.
Brunson, meanwhile, will return with the anticipated second season of “Abbott Elementary” on September 21.