Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel issued an apology to “Abbott Elementary” creator Quinta Brunson for playing dead during her Emmy acceptance speech on Monday night.
Kimmel was accused of abusing “white privilege” for a skit he and fellow presenter Will Arnett performed while they were presenting the award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards.
Arnett dragged the “Live!” host onto the stage by his feet, where he pretended to “passed out” from drinking too many “skinny margaritas” after his late-night show didn’t win an award for the “13th year in a row.”
Kimmel remained steadfastly in character as Arnett searched his pockets for winner’s envelope, then announced Brunson’s win. Instead of ending the bit, the former “Man Show” host remained still as Brunson took the stage and stepped over him to reach the microphone.
“Jimmy wake up, I won,” the first time award winner joked, but he awkwardly remained corpse-like for her entire speech.
After the ceremony, Brunson said that the stunt didn’t bother her “that much,” as Kimmel was one of her earliest supporters.
“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. “I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
While Brunson was tactful in her response, the internet was enraged. “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,” one person wrote.
“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,” said another.
“Where’s Will Smith when you need him?” Someone else joked.
Brunson appeared as a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Wednesday night, and the host apologized for the “dumb comedy bit” that he “thought would be funny.”
“People got upset, they said I stole your moment, and maybe I did, and I’m very sorry if I did do that,” he began. “I’m sorry I did do that, actually. And also, the last thing I would ever want to do was upset you because I think so much of you. And I think you know that — I hope you know that.”
Brunson accepted the apology with grace, noting that she was so wrapped up in the moment, that his bit didn’t negatively impact her Emmy win. “Thank you that’s kind, but honestly, I had a good night,” she said.