Jimmy Kimmel discusses that Emmys controversy during an appearance on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show”.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host faced backlash after lying down onstage as a continuation of a bit, while Quinta Brunson delivered her Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series acceptance speech for “Abbott Elementary” earlier this month.
Fans criticized the move as insensitive, especially given the life-changing moment for Brunson.
Kimmel, who was joined onstage by Will Arnett for the bit, tells Stern, “I said, ‘Will [Arnett], wouldn’t it be funny’ – because I know [‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’] is going to lose to John Oliver – ‘if you could just drag me out there and say I was upset, and I had a few drinks, and I was just kind of unconscious?’”
READ MORE: Quinta Brunson Reacts To Public Outcry After Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmys Bit: ‘I’m Fine And Happy’
Kimmel, however, misjudged how the stunt would look: “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.
“But the stage was very different. The stage was like a catwalk. So, I was kind of like, in the way. Some people read racial stuff into this, and everybody has their own perspective, but the fact of the matter is… this was a plan I had no matter who [won].”
READ MORE: Jimmy Kimmel Praises ‘Lovely’ Quinta Brunson After Viral 2022 Emmys Bit Backlash
Kimmel admits, “It did take away – especially afterward – because then she had to answer questions about [my prank] instead of just celebrating her Emmy.
“Weirdly, coincidentally, when I saw the [‘Abbott Elementary’] pilot… I called the head of ABC and said, ‘This is a great show. This is the kind of show you should be making,’ and they also thought it was great and they intended to pick it up.
“And then I reached out to Quinta – this was months before the show premiered – and told her how I felt about it.”
Elsewhere in the Stern chat, Kimmel talks about why he re-signed his contract for “JKL!”, how he would have handled that Will Smith Oscars slap, and more.