Jimmy Kimmel Is Getting Canceled Over The Emmys

Jimmy Kimmel is being heavily criticized for pretending to be fallen down drunk during the presentation of Quinta Brunson's Emmy award.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Jimmy Kimmel is finding out that sometimes performing a weird joke in public is not enjoyed by everyone. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the late-night talk show host is being heavily criticized for what was intended to be a comedic bit at the recent 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, when he spent nearly two minutes pretending to be passed out drunk on stage when he was supposed to be presenting the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, which was won by Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson. In particular, many people perceived the “joke” as Jimmy Kimmel attempting to draw attention away from Quinta Brunson, who is the first Black woman to be nominated three times in the comedy category of the Emmys.

The idea behind the joke (such as it is) seems to be that Jimmy Kimmel and co-presenter Will Arnett (of Arrested Development fame) were doing a bit in which they pretending that Kimmel had gotten heavy drunk (on “skinny margaritas,” specifically) and Arnett had to physically drag him on stage. After he did so, Jimmy Kimmel remained on the floor the entire time, requiring Quinta Brunson to have to actually step over him in order to accept the award. At the end of the presentation, Will Arnett then dragged Jimmy Kimmel off-stage, which is an impressive commitment to a pretty thin bit from both of them. 

While many online have been calling out Jimmy Kimmel for somewhat bewilderingly trying to draw maximum attention to himself when his job was literally to be facilitating praise to someone else, Quinta Brunson herself does not appear to be taking it to badly. Reportedly, the Abbott Elementary star said “Jimmy, wake up, I won” as she accepted the award and even thanked him in her speech (as well as later noting she would be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! later in the week). Quinta Brunson was the second Black woman ever to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and was also nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series (as her capacity as executive producer), and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Jimmy Kimmel has yet to comment on his attempted joke or his motivations behind it, though it is probably fair to assume he did not think through the optics of him disrupting the acclaim being paid to a young Black woman. Others have called out the late-night talk show host in terms of a wealthy white man assuming he had free reign over the stage intended to be honoring someone else, or simply saying that it was due to jealousy. For now, it will just have to wait to be seen whether Jimmy Kimmel will address it on his show or in some other venue. 

Abbott Elementary premiered on ABC in December of 2021, immediately earning universal acclaim for Quinta Brunson (who will soon be appearing as Oprah Winfrey in a parody Weird Al Yankovic film). The second season will begin airing on September 21.