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Jimmy Kimmel 'Didn't Imagine' His Quinta Brunson Emmys Bit Going the Way It Did

The talk show host admitted to Howard Stern that his actions took away from Brunson's big moment.
  • Jimmy Kimmel was a little blindsided by how people reacted to his Emmys bit, he admitted to Howard Stern.

    During an appearance on Stern's SiriusXM show Wednesday, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host described how he'd planned the joke beforehand, and why things went a little differently than he'd anticipated. 

    "How I visualized this happening is he drags me out, we read the winner, and then I’m just basically just out of the shot, and it’s not really a factor," Kimmel said, recalling the plan he'd orchestrated with good friend Will Arnett. "But the stage was very different. The stage was like a catwalk. So, I was kind of in the way, in a way I did not imagine I would [be]."

    "Some people read racial stuff into this, and everybody has their own perspective, but the fact of the matter is - I think there were six nominees - this was a plan I had no matter who [won]," Kimmel continued. He then recalled a "nice conversation" with Brunson backstage, during which they had no idea there had been any negative reaction to Kimmel's bit - until the afterparty. 

    "...People are saying 'oh, you stole the moment'," said Kimmel. "I do understand that. It did take away - especially afterward - because then she had to answer questions about that instead of just celebrating her Emmy." 

    Kimmel received backlash after remaining on stage during Quinta Brunson's Emmy win, drawing attention to himself during her big moment. In addition to being called out by fans, Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph also slammed Kimmel for his "disrespectful" bit. Kimmel has since apologized to Brunson, taking the opportunity during his show to say "I’m sorry I did do that, actually. And also, the last thing I would ever want to do was upset you because I think so much of you."

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    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Jimmy Kimmel, Howard Stern, Quinta Brunson