Jimmy Kimmel Admits His Emmys Gag During Quinta Brunson’s Speech Was A Mistake: ‘It Did Take Away’

While interviewing Quinta Brunson on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week, the late-night host personally apologized for laying on the floor for an awkward bit during her Emmys speech. Unlike most comedians, Kimmel owned up to the joke failing and made things right with the Abbott Elementary creator.

“I’m sorry I did do that, actually,” Kimmel told her. “And also, the last thing I would ever want to do was upset you because I think so much of you.”

With the controversy knocked out of the headlines, Kimmel could’ve let the whole thing blow over. Instead, he recently opened up to Howard Stern about why the bit backfired, and how he totally gets that it distracted from what should have been Brunson’s big moment. Via The Hollywood Reporter:

“How I visualized this happening is [Will Arnett] 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 told Stern. “But the stage was very different. The stage was like a catwalk. So, I was kind of in the way, in a way I didn’t imagine.”

According to Kimmel, he didn’t realize the bit had caused a backlash until after the Emmys had ended, and he understands why people were upset. “It did take away — especially afterward — because then she had to answer questions about that instead of just celebrating her Emmy,” Kimmel said.

The late-night host also addressed people who “read racial stuff into this” by saying the failed bit was going to bomb in exactly the same way regardless of the winner. “This was a plan I had no matter who [won],” Kimmel said.

New episodes of Abbott Elementary air Wednesdays on ABC.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)