It’s been a few weeks since Jimmy Kimmel angered Emmys viewers for upstaging Quinta Brunson’s acceptance speech, and while the two cleared the air on Jimmy Kimmel Live a few days after the event, the talk show host told Howard Stern that race had nothing to do with the bit.
During the award show, Will Arnett dragged Kimmel onstage to present the award for best writing in a comedy, which went to Brunson’s Abbott Elementary. However, Kimmel, who pretended to be passed out drunk after losing his category, remained sprawled out on the stage as Brunson tried to deliver her acceptance speech.
During a visit on The Howard Stern Show, Kimmel recalled how the idea of the bit came to be.
“I said, ‘Will, wouldn’t it be funny — because I know [Jimmy Kimmel Live] is going to lose to John Oliver – if you just drag me out there and say I was upset, and I had a few drinks, and I’m just kind of unconscious?’” he described.
However, Kimmel explained how the layout of the stage hindered the way he had originally planned to execute the stunt.
“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,” he said. “But the stage was very different. The stage was like a catwalk. So, I was kind of, like, in the way.”
Pointing out that “some people read racial stuff into this” and saying “everyone has their own perspective,” Kimmel assured that out of the six nominees, “this was a plan I had for no matter who [won].”
The comedian even said that he and Brunson are friends and that they had no idea anyone was upset when they talked backstage following the acceptance speech, but admitted that his bit “did take away [from her moment] — especially afterwards because then she had to answer questions about that instead of celebrating her Emmy.”
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