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Sheryl Lee Ralph Slams Jimmy Kimmel's Bit During Quinta Brunson Emmys Speech

Home / Breaking News / Sheryl Lee Ralph Slams Jimmy Kimmel's Bit During Quinta Brunson Emmys Speech

By Fiyin Olowokandi on September 16, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT

Quinta Brunson might not be pissed about Jimmy Kimmel's controversial act during her speech acceptance at the recently-concluded 2022 Emmy Awards. However, one of her "Abbott Elementary" co-stars isn't at all pleased with the comedian's behavior on the big night.

As you might know, the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards witnessed a headline-making moment when Kimmel was seen playing dead and lying on the floor when Brunson was accepting the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

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Sheryl Lee Ralph Reacts To Jimmy Kimmel's Act During Quinta Brunson's Speech

Following the Emmys, the cast of "Abbott Elementary" participated in a virtual panel for ABC’s presentation at the TCA’s summer press tour to discuss their Emmy wins as well as what can be expected from their second season, which is set to premiere on September 21.

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ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - ABC's "Abbott Elementary" stars Tyler James Williams as Gregory, Janelle James as Ava, Quinta Brunson as Janine, Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara, Chris Perfetti as Jacob, and Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa. (Pamela Littky/ABC via Getty Images)
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During the interview, the cast members were asked about their thoughts about Kimmel's bit during Brunson's moment, and Sheryl Lee Ralph bared her thoughts. The actress, who also earned a historic win on the award night, expressed her disappointment at the late-night talk show host.

"I was absolutely confused. I didn’t know what was going on," Ralph said. "I was like, 'I wish that man would just get up off of the ground.' And then I realized it was Jimmy Kimmel. And I was like, 'Ooh, the disrespect, Jimmy!' But that’s just me."

The actress who plays the role of Barbara Howard in the ABC sitcom employed the sarcasm she is known for on the show when she added, "Sorry! I’m so sorry, it was lovely that he was lying on the floor during her wonderful acceptance speech!"

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Ralph noted that she also talked to the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" host about the incident. "I told him, too! To his face! And he understood," she revealed. While the "Moesha" star didn't feel so good about the moment, her co-star Lisa Ann Walter, who stars as Melissa Schemmenti, thought otherwise, saying, "I thought it played funny in the room."

Brunson, who was at the receiving end of the drama, also reiterated her initial sentiment about the topic that she wasn't upset. She said during the panel, "I’m anticipating that we are going to have a good old fashioned time. 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."

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How Does The 'Abbott Elementary' Creator Feel About The Incident?

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Following Kimmel's dead bit at the award ceremony, Kimmel faced a heavy backlash online, with many slamming him for trying to steal the spotlight from a black woman during a historic moment. Brunson's win at the Emmys made her the second Black woman to ever win that category.

Despite the criticism, Brunson seemingly came to "The Man Show" alum's defense during a backstage press conference, saying, "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."

She continued, opening up about the good relationship she shares with the comedian, writing, "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."

She, however, joked that she "might punch" the show host when she makes an appearance on his talk show on Wednesday. Kimmel has also broken his silence on the matter, calling it "one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened to me." He, however, showered praises on Brunson for her big win, describing her as "unbelievably talented."

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Sheryl Lee Ralph Makes History At 2022 Emmys

Brunson isn't the only "Abbott Elementary" cast member who made history at the awards ceremony. Ralph, who took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, seemingly did the impossible with her win. She became the second Black woman to win an Emmy in the category 35 years after Jackee Harry won it in 1987 for "227."

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During her mind-blowing acceptance speech, the 65-year-old broke out in a song, reciting a line from jazz singer Diane Reeves’ 1993 song "Endangered Species" that read, "I am an endangered species, but I sing no victim song. I am a woman, I am an artist, and I know where my voice belongs."

Ralph's win was greatly celebrated as she received a standing ovation from the audience.

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