Sheryl Lee Ralph Comments on Jimmy Kimmel's Emmy Bit During Quinta Brunson's Speech: 'The Disrespect'

The 'Abbott Elementary' star addressed Kimmel's controversial bit during the show's TCA panel on Wednesday.

Sheryl Lee Ralph has something to say about Jimmy Kimmel's controversial prolonged comedy bit during Monday night's 2022 Emmy Awards. The Emmy-winning Abbott Elementary star revealed that she was less than pleased about the late-night talk show host playing dead during co-star and fellow first-time Emmy winner Quinta Brunson's acceptance speech. 

"I was absolutely confused," she told reporters at ABC's TCA day on Wednesday. "I didn't know what was going on. But I was like, 'I wish that man would just get up off the ground.' Then I realized it was Jimmy Kimmel. Ooh, the disrespect, Jimmy! But that's just me. I told him, too, to his face. He understood."

When asked about her thoughts on the situation, Brunson -- who is scheduled to appear on Kimmel's late-night show on Wednesday -- kept it diplomatic and coy. "I'm going to tape [Jimmy Kimmel Live!] right after this. It will be a good old-fashioned conversation," she told reporters. "I think it will be a good time. You'll have to tune in and watch."

Co-star Lisa Ann Walter said she "thought it played funny in the room."

For anyone who might have missed it, when the comedy series creator and star went onstage to collect her Emmy, she was met with a seemingly passed-out Kimmel, who pretended to lie completely still during the entirety of her acceptance speech as part of a prolonged comedy bit. The moment spurred backlash after viewers voiced their unhappiness over his unwillingness to move.

Presenting the Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series category during the Emmy telecast, Will Arnett dragged an immobile Kimmel onstage, joking that this is the "13th time in a row that he’s lost and he just got into the skinny margaritas back there." After Arnett announced Brunson as the winner, she attempted to inform him that he could move now that she had collected the hardware, saying, "Jimmy, wake up. I won." However, that didn't happen. Kimmel stayed onstage with Brunson giving her speech at the mic, and didn't leave until she was finished.

When asked about his bit after the show, Kimmel told ET, "I had my eyes closed, I had no idea where I was. It was one of the weirdest things that's ever happened to me."

In the press room, when Brunson was asked about Kimmel's Emmy bit, she left room for it to fully sink in later.

"I know Jimmy Kimmel, and I don't know, I feel like the bit didn't bother me that much. I don't know what the internet thinks," Brunson admitted. 

The 32-year-old comedian said it was Kimmel who was one of the first people in Hollywood to champion her ABC show.

"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. He was so excited it was going to be on ABC. I was happy it was Jimmy. He’s one of the comedy godfathers. I'm a huge fan of Will Arnett, so I was wrapped up in the moment," Brunson said. "Tomorrow, maybe I’ll be mad at him. Maybe I'll punch him. I don't know. We'll see what happens."


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