Mama Sheryl Lee Ralph Speaks On Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy Comedy Bit: ‘Ooh, the Disrespect’

Mama Ralph has spoken!

The 2022 Emmys featured a night of Black excellence, historical wins, and comedy. For some viewers and Mama Sheryl Lee Ralph, a comedy bit that dragged into Quinta Brunson’s acceptance speech was just rude.

During the awards, actor and fellow presenter Will Arnett hauled Jimmy Kimmel by his feet to present on stage. Kimmel laid there as Brunson accepted her first Emmy and delivered her speech. As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, the 32-year-old showrunner and creator of Abbott Elementary maintained her cool.

“I think in that moment, I was just really happy that it was Jimmy up there,” she told reporters backstage that night, per the Hollywood Reporter. “I kind of consider him one of the comedy godfathers; I’m a huge fan of Will Arnett, so I was wrapped up in the moment. I don’t know — tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him. I’m gonna be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

But the internet was fuming with opinions about Kimmel’s bad choices and how white privilege constantly steals the spotlight away from Black women.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ralph, who plays Barbara Howard in Abbott Elementary, recalled feeling “confused” at first during the controversial moment. She said when she realized it was Kimmel, she confronted him about the bit.

“I didn’t know what was going on. I was like, I wish he’d just get up off the ground,” Ralph said, per the outlet. “Then I realized it was Jimmy, and I was like, Ooh, the disrespect. I love Jimmy Kimmel, but I’m sorry. I told him to his face, and he understood.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Brunson appeared on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where she deliberately walked onstage during his opening monologue. She asked him if she could finish her acceptance speech instead, and so she did.

“I do want to explain this for those who may be confused by this,” Kimmel said after a commercial break, per People. “That was a dumb comedy bit that we thought would be funny. I lost, and then I drank too much, and I had to be dragged out on the stage. And then people got upset. They said that I stole your moment, and maybe I did. I’m very sorry if I did do that — I’m sorry I did do that, actually. And also, the last thing I would ever want to do is upset you because I think so much of you, and I think you know that. I hope you know that.”