‘Abbott Elementary’ creator wants focus on show, not Kimmel

LOS ANGELES – “Abbott Elementary” creator-star Quinta Brunson said she’d rather focus on the show than Jimmy Kimmel’s comedy bit that overshadowed her Emmy acceptance speech and prompted criticism.

But Sheryl Lee Ralph, who received her own Emm y for the sitcom with a rousing song and speech, didn’t duck the matter during a Q&A panel discussion Wednesday with TV critics.

“I was like, ‘Oh, the disrespect, Jimmy,'” Ralph recalled. She sarcastically referred to it as “lovely that he was lying on the floor during her wonderful acceptance speech.

“I told him too, to his face, and he understood,” said Ralph, who was honored at Monday’s ceremony as best supporting comedy actress for her role in the warm-hearted comedy set in a Philadelphia school.


Brunson won the best comedy series writing Emmy and found herself sharing the Emmy stage with Kimmel — who was flat on his back, dragged by fellow presenter Will Arnett because the late-night host had supposedly had too many “skinny Margaritas.” Kimmel gave Brunson a thumbs-up for her award but didn’t budge, a decision that was blasted online as rude and thoughtless by some and cited as an example of white-male arrogance by others.

Brunson was scheduled to appear later Wednesday as a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Both share a network home on ABC.

“I’m anticipating that we are going to have a good old-fashioned time,” Brunson said Wednesday. “I have talked with Jimmy since, and I think no matter what it’s important” to showcase that “Abbott Elementary” returns Sept. 21 for season two.

Backstage Monday, Brunson said the bit didn’t bother her “that much” and noted that Kimmel has been a booster of her and “Abbott Elementary.” If she decides she’s mad at him, a smiling Brunson added, she might “punch him in the face” during her appearance on his show.

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