Kimmel Takes Flak Over Emmys Stunt

He's accused of upstaging winner Quinta Brunson
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2022 3:03 PM CDT
Updated Sep 17, 2022 12:50 PM CDT

Jimmy Kimmel is taking a fair amount of flak online Tuesday over a jokey stunt he pulled at Monday night's Emmy Awards. He and Will Arnett presented the award for best writing in a comedy series, except that Kimmel pretended to be drunk over losing in his own category, per Forbes. Arnett literally dragged Kimmel on stage, where he remained prone. The problem is that Kimmel kept the bit going as winner Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary) accepted her award and gave her speech, and critics say he ruined her moment. "Jimmy get up, I won," Brunson said to laughter upon reaching the stage. Kimmel gave her a thumbs-up but didn't otherwise budge. You can watch it here.

A common refrain among critics revolves around Kimmel, a white man, stealing the thunder from a Black woman during her big moment, per Page Six:

  • "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," reads one typical tweet. "He had no business/right to take up space in the way that he did."
  • "White men really are insufferable," reads another tweet.
  • It's a "a metaphor for what it means to be a [woman of color] in a white man's world," declared one especially popular tweet, per Newsweek.

One person seemingly unfazed is Brunson herself, however. "I felt like the bit didn't bother me that much," she said after the show, per People. "I don't know what the internet thinks, but I don't know." She added that "Jimmy gave me my first big late-night spot and was one of the first people to see Abbott" and offer support. "I don't know. Tomorrow, maybe I'll be mad at him," Brunson said. "I'm going to be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face." At an after-show party, Kimmel called Brunson "unbelievably talented" and a "lovely person," though he didn't address his comedy bit. (More Jimmy Kimmel stories.)

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