Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel has apologized to Emmy winner Quinta Brunson for a comedy stunt that drew criticism accusing him of exercising "white male privilege."
Kimmel and actor Will Arnett were presenting the Emmy for best writing in a comedy series at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Monday night when Arnett dragged Kimmel onstage, The Wrap reported.
Arnett explained that "Jimmy couldn't be here tonight" because he drank too many "skinny margaritas" after he lost the Emmy for his late-night series for the "13th time in a row."
After Brunson was announced as the winner as writer/creator of "Abbott Elementary," Kimmel continued lying on the stage as if passed out while Brunson had to step over him to make her acceptance speech amid laughter.
The antics drew immediate criticism from "Abbott Elementary" actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who told the press she confronted Kimmel backstage about the bit.
"Ooh, the disrespect. I told him, too, to his face," Ralph said. "He understood."
But Brunson said backstage that she was not offended.
"I know Jimmy Kimmel. The bit didn't bother me," she said. "Honestly, Jimmy gave me my first big late-night spot. He was one of the first people to see 'Abbott Elementary.' He was the first person to message me on Instagram."
Kimmel, she said, "was so excited it was going to be on ABC. I was happy it was Jimmy. He's one of the comedy godfathers."
Still, Twitter users upped the ante, the New York Post reported, accusing Kimmel of white male privilege with comments such as:
- "If #QuintaBrunson stepping over #JimmyKimmel who literally laid in her spotlight on the day she won an Emmy isn't a metaphor for what it means to be a WOC in a white mans (sic) world I don't know what is."
- "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."
- "CAN SOMEONE TELL THE HUMAN PERSONIFICATION OF WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE THAT IS @jimmykimmel THAT HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO TAKE UP *ALL* THE SPACE — ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT SPACE BELONGS TO @quintabrunson WHO HAD TO LITERALLY NAVIGATE AROUND HIM TO ACCEPT HER HISTORIC #EMMY"
On Kimmel's show Wednesday, Brunson walked out in the middle of Kimmel's monologue holding her Emmy.
''You know you're a little early for your interview,'' Kimmel said..
''I know, I know, I have a little favor to ask you. Yeah, so, you know how when you win an Emmy, you only have 45 seconds to do an acceptance speech, which is like 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 replied.
''You know, I have heard of that happening,'' Kimmel said.
Brunson asked for ''a couple of extra minutes'' to thank some people she didn't have time for Monday.
"Take all the time you want," he replied.
Later, during the interview, Kimmel apologized, saying: "People got upset, they said I stole your moment, and maybe I did, and 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 was upset you because I think so much of you. And I think you know that — I hope you know that.''
''Jimmy, let me just say thank you," Brunson replied. "It is very kind of you to say that. I honestly just in such a moment of having a good time, like I won my first Emmy, I was up there like, you know, I was so happy. And I was wrapped up in the moment, and just having a good time.
She added: "Thank you, that's kind, but honestly, I had a good night. I had a great night."
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