Jimmy Kimmel sparked backlash during Monday night’s Emmy Awards after his comedy skit when critics accused Kimmel of stealing the spotlight from winner Quinta Branson.
During the awards ceremony, Kimmel and Will Arnett presented the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, with Arnett dragging Kimmel across the stage, who pretended to have passed out after drinking too many margaritas. Arnett joked that Kimmel drowned his sorrows backstage out of frustration, this being the “13th straight time he’s lost”.
Brunson took the stage to accept the award for his ABC series Abbott Elementary (his first Emmy), and Kimmel remained onstage, lying next to Brunson, making it impossible to capture Brunson’s speech without including Kimmel’s body in the frame.
Brunson tried to wake Kimmel up, jokingly saying, “Jimmy, wake up. After a few uncomfortable looks down, Branson decided to ignore him and continued with his acceptance speech. Arnett then dutifully dragged Kimmel offstage – Kimmel committed to the part until the end.
Twitter soon lit up with outrage as Abbott Elementary fans lashed out at Kimmel for drawing so much attention to themselves during Branson’s big moment. Fans of Branson, whose rise went from creating viral videos on Instagram to creating Emmy-winning shows for BuzzFeed, felt that Kimmel’s commitment to his jokes was distasteful, seen as deeply titled.
Many expressed disappointment that there wasn’t a single photo of Brunson’s acceptance speech that didn’t include Kimmel – one Twitter user even went so far as to Photoshop him out of the moment.
While Kimmel clearly misjudged the situation, Brunson didn’t seem to hold a grudge. After the ceremony, Brunson seemed eager to move on from the awkward moment, telling reporters.
“I think at that moment, I was really happy that Jimmy was up there… I don’t know, maybe tomorrow I’ll be mad at him. I’ll be on his show on Wednesday, so I am. his face. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”