Not Everyone Loved Jen Aniston's Firefighting at Emmys

Some say joke involving a flaming trash can was insensitive to those affected by Calif. wildfires
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2020 8:20 AM CDT

At any moment during the past eight months or so, have you felt like just setting everything on fire? In that regard, Jimmy Kimmel was all of us Sunday night at the Emmy Awards, and Jennifer Aniston was the hero who swooped in to temper our fears and put out the flames—literally. The Friends star, who sported a "sexy black gown and major tan," showed up to the mostly empty studio to help host Kimmel present the award for best lead comedy actress. Kimmel first sprayed down the envelope containing the winner's name with disinfectant—"you never know where these accountants' hands have been"—then placed it in a trash bin at his feet and lit it on fire, just to be extra sure there were no COVID-19 germs on it.

And that's when it all turned into what Newsweek called "a perfect metaphor for the moment in time we're living in": Aniston stepped in with a fire extinguisher to put the fire out, except it just wouldn't go out. It took her several tries to extinguish the flames. Viewers at home had mixed reactions to the stunt. Some thought it was funny, or could at least commiserate. "This is a literal dumpster fire and im dying of laughter," one commenter tweeted. Others, though, thought the joke was in bad taste, USA Today notes. "I'm so confused why they would light anything on fire at the #Emmys considering the entire state of California is on fire," posted one dismayed viewer. Per Digital Spy, however, another Aniston appearance on Emmys night, which also included Friends co-stars Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow and Ozark star Jason Bateman, went off with less heated drama. (More Emmy Awards stories.)

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