Quinta Brunson Reveals How She Annoys Her ‘Abbott’ Castmates in Award Acceptance Speech

It’s dizzying to keep track of all the awards that Quinta Brunson and her show Abbott Elementary have accumulated in the past year— we’re talking EmmysGolden Globes, Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and Time Magazine's "Time 100: The Most Influential People of 2022" just to name a few. But now, add another honor to the list.

Brunson was just named the Publicists 2023 Television Showperson of the Year at the 60th Annual ICG Publicists Awards luncheon at The Beverly Hilton. Brunson follows in the footsteps of previous winners including Ava Duvernay, Ryan Murphy and Norman Lear (who Brunson singled out at the event, saying, "I'm such a Norman Lear stan! It's really cool to get the award he got!").

Quinta Brunson ast the ICG Publicists Awards.
Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

Brunson opened up quite a bit in her acceptance speech. She told the audience, "I think that you all do a job that is incredible, crucial and underappreciated. And if it's one thing I love, it’s appreciating the under-appreciated."

She continued, "Abbott Elementary is so important to me as the daughter of a teacher and a friend of public school educators. To be able to tell the story of those everyday heroes has been the thrill of a lifetime. It's so surreal to see how it has been perceived by press and viewers."

Quinta Brunson giving a speech at the
Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

Talking about her hands-on approach to the messaging of the show and protecting her cast, she said, "I am very particular I think in ways that probably annoy [the cast] sometimes, but I think it's very important how we talk about a show like Abbott. We're dealing with somewhat sensitive subject matter, and I want people to have a good time. I never want to put my cast in the line of fire. I want to protect everybody. We have children to protect. We have teachers to protect, and I'm always trying to make sure that we're having fun protecting each other and getting the word out about the show at the same time."

"And that's annoying. I know I annoy them, I know sometimes like 'God, I wish she would just shut up...' but I can't because I think that's integral to the success of a show, especially for new creatives. And it's something I communicate a lot with, you know, younger creators about how it's important to be able to communicate."

And if you didn’t already love everything Brunson has accomplished and stands for, Abbott Elementary star Lisa Ann Walter introduced her, singing her praises and saying she had friends from 30 years in the comedy business call her after the show premiered, saying, “I dare anybody in America not to love her.”

Walter continued, “She is entirely lovable, funny, a little dorky and genius. And that pretty much sums it up. The person that you see shining in all of her lovable awkward dorkiness, that's not accidental.”

Quinta Brunson and Lisa Ann Walter at the ICG Publicist Awards.
Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

Walter went on about everything Brunson does for the show. "The part that you don't get to see is all of the other things that she brings. That magic of what creates every piece of Abbott Elementary. What I see in between the takes would be anybody else's full day of work. She is managing set design. She's managing wardrobe, literally sitting on the floor in between takes exhausted going, 'Yes. No, no, no, I like that one. Yeah, more like that.' She's handling background casting. She's wrangling the kid actors. Literally. It is exhausting to watch, quite frankly, and I have four children. I have to stop myself quite often from asking her, 'When's the last time you ate?' Or, 'Are you getting enough sleep?' because she's young, and she's my daughter's age. Honestly, I have to remind myself that I am not, in fact, her mother. She is, in fact, my boss. And she is the best one I've ever had in this business."

Walter also got very emotional relaying the story of how Brunson made sure to send her a copy of the pilot before the series aired to show her mom, who was getting progressively sicker with congestive heart failure. "That's because she is at her core, the nicest, most beautifully soulful woman, let alone actress and boss that anybody in this town could have hoped for."

Speaking to PureWow on the red carpet at the event, another trailblazer, actress Ming-Na Wen, weighed in on Brunson, saying, “I think it’s so fabulous. She’s had such an incredible couple of years. And I think that she’s just again, about diversity, about being a woman, and a woman in power. I hope I get to meet her!”

No doubt this year is only the beginning of Brunson's awards domination and Hollywood reign.

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