Jimmy Kimmel Offers Apology to Quinta Brunson for ‘Dumb’ Emmys Stunt

Quinta Brunson and Jimmy Kimmel (Credit: ABC)

It may have seemed liked a good idea at the time, but Jimmy Kimmel now admits his Emmys stunt was “dumb.”

Kimmel went into full apology mode Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, telling Abbott Elementary creator, writer and star Quinta Brunson it wasn’t his intention to cause a distraction during her Emmys acceptance speech earlier in the week.

“I do want to explain this for those who may be confused by this,” Kimmel said. “That was a dumb comedy bit that we thought would be funny. I lost, and then I drank too much, and I had to be dragged out on the stage. And then people got upset. They said that I stole your moment, and maybe I did. I’m very sorry if I did do that, I’m sorry I did do that, actually. And also, the last thing I would ever want to do is upset you because I think so much of you, and I think you know that. I hope you know that.”

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Brunson graciously accepted his apology.

“I was honestly in such a moment of having a good time, I won my first Emmy. I was up there happy, and I was wrapped up in the moment,” she said.

Before Kimmel apologized, Brunson got the last laugh by walking on stage and crashing his opening monologue.

“You know, you’re a little bit early for your interview. It’s after the commercial,” Kimmel told Brunson.

She responded, “I know, but I have a little favor to ask, actually. So you know when you win an Emmy, you only have 45 seconds to do an acceptance speech, which is not that much time? And then you get less time because someone does a dumb comedy bit that goes on a bit too long?”

Brunson used the moment for a do-over of her Emmys speech and thanked the Television Academy, ABC execs, Abbott Elementary fans, and her show’s co-writers.

Quinta Brunson Emmys Speech (YouTube/NBC)
Quinta Brunson steps over Jimmy Kimmel during her Emmys Speech (YouTube/NBC)

After the commercial break, she sat down with Kimmel and the two discussed his controversial Emmys bit with actor Will Arnett. Just before Arnett presented the award for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series, he dragged Kimmel across the stage and joked that the late-night host had gotten drunk and passed out after losing in his category.

Arnett announced Brunson was the winner for comedy writing, while Kimmel continued lying on the floor. Once Brunson walked on stage, she had to step over Kimmel and at one point said, “Jimmy wake up, I won.”

Some viewers on social media expressed outrage saying the comedy bit was disrespectful. But Brunson told reporters backstage in the Emmys press room it “didn’t bother me that much.”

“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. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens,” she joked.

She also noted that Kimmel was an early supporter of her series and one of the first people to invite her on a national TV show to talk about her comedy series.

Season 2 of Abbott Elementary premieres on its new night, Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.