After winning her first Emmy Award, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph addressed Jimmy Kimmel‘s onstage stunt at the 49th-annual Emmy Awards. Ralph’s “Abbott Elementary” co-star and creator Quinta Brunson walked on stage to accept the award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series while standing over the late-talk show host. Brunson had to walk around Kimmel, who played dead on the stage floor, to make her acceptance speech at the mic.
Ralph, who won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, opened up about the shocking moment during a Television Critics Association summer press tour panel.
“I was absolutely confused. I didn’t know what was going on,” she said Wednesday, Sept. 16. “But I was like, ‘I wish that man would just get up off the ground.’ Ooh, the disrespect. I told him, too, to his face. He understood.”
Fans on social media slammed Kimmel for attempting to steal the shine from Brunson’s big night and displaying his “white male privilege.” Coincidentally, Brunson took back her moment when she appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Wednesday night. The comedian described his stunt as “a dumb comedy bit we thought it would be funny.” He also made reference to not winning the Outstanding Variety Talk Series award.
“I lost and then I drank too much and I had to be dragged out on the stage and then people got upset,” he explained. “They said I stole your moment and maybe I did and I’m very sorry if I did do that. I’m very sorry I did do that, actually.”
He added, “The last thing I would ever want to do is upset you because I think so much of you.”
Brunson said she had a “great night” and accepted Kimmel’s apology. She also doesn’t believe his joke overshadowed her career-defining moment.
“I honestly was in such a moment of just having a good time,” said the 32-year-old. “Like I won my first Emmy. I was up there, you know, happy. I was wrapped up in the moment and just having a good time.”
Kimmel then back peddled and blamed actor Will Arnett, who presented Brunson with her award, for dragging him on stage while “unconscious.” He then joked that he’s attended the Emmys over 20 times and received dozens of nominations but never any awards.
Brunson laughed while adding, “And I went one time and won.”