Abbott Elementary creator/star Quinta Brunson may be taking Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy Awards stunt in stride, but her co-star (and fellow Emmy winner) Sheryl Lee Ralph is certainly not.
During Monday’s Emmys telecast, Brunson took home the trophy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. When Brunson stepped on stage to accept her award, Kimmel — who’d lain on the floor for several minutes, pretending to be comatose as part of a bit with co-presenter Will Arnett — didn’t move. “Jimmy, wake up. I won!” said Brunson, gingerly stepping around him. And when Kimmel didn’t move, she played along, placing her phone on his chest and telling him to hold it.
In an op-ed, TVLine’s Kimberly Roots argued that Kimmel owed Brunson an apology for the disrespectful comedy bit, which took attention away from Brunson’s historic win — and it would seem that Ralph agrees.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday during a Television Critics Association virtual press tour panel for the ABC comedy, Ralph shared that she initially mistook Kimmel for his Jimmy Kimmel Live! cohort Guillermo Rodriguez.
“I was absolutely confused. I didn’t know what was going on. But I was like, ‘I wish that man would just get up off of the ground,'” Ralph said. “And then I realized it was Jimmy Kimmel. And then I was shocked. Ooh, the disrespect, Jimmy.
“Oh, it was lovely that he was lying on the floor during her wonderful acceptance speech,” Ralph added sarcastically. “I told him, too, to his face. He understood.” (Ralph had her own memorable speech moment when she took home the trophy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.)
Brunson, meanwhile, noted that she would be taping her appearance on Kimmel’s late night show after the panel, to air tonight on ABC. “I’m anticipating that we are going to have a good old fashioned time,” Brunson teased. “I have talked with Jimmy since, and I think no matter what, it’s important to just showcase that Abbott Elementary is premiering next week so that I will be doing. I think it’s gonna be a good time, and you’ll probably just have to tune in and watch.”