Kimmel presented the category alongside Will Arnett, who dragged Kimmel on stage and joked that the late-night host “got into the skinny margaritas” after losing in his category earlier. Instead of leaving the stage, Kimmel lay motionless on the floor as Brunson accepted her award, remaining there, seemingly lifeless, for more than two minutes. The actress and writer even tried to make a joke of it, urging him, “Jimmy, wake up, I won.”
Viewers have not been pleased with Kimmel’s antics, with some Twitter users calling the stunt an example of white male privilege. However, Brunson addressed the situation backstage in the Emmys’ pressroom, saying that she isn’t upset.
“I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much,” she said. “I don’t know what the Internet thinks.”
She continued, “Honestly, Jimmy gave me my first late-night spot and was one of the first people to see Abbott, and he Instagram messaged me that he saw this comedy and thought it was one of the greatest comedies of all time and he was so excited it was going to be on ABC. So I think in that moment, I was just really happy that it was Jimmy up there! I’m a huge fan of Will Arnett, so I was wrapped up in the moment.”
Brunson is scheduled to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live tomorrow night, where it may all come to a head. “Tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him. I’m gonna be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face,” Brunson joked. “I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
Last night’s award marked Brunson’s first Emmy. She is the third Black person, and second Black woman, to win for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Previous winners are Larry Wilmore for The Bernie Mac Show and Lena Waithe for Master of None.
Kimmel has not yet responded.