Emmy Awards 2024: Quinta Brunson shatters records as the First Black Comedy Lead Actress in 42 years

Quinta Brunson makes history as the first Black woman in 42 years to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy at the 75th Emmy Awards.

Published on Jan 16, 2024  |  09:44 AM IST |  63.7K
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Quinta Brunson (Getty Images)

Quinta Brunson, the talented creator and star of Abbott Elementary, has made history by becoming the first Black woman in 42 years to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy at the 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Quinta Brunson becomes First Black Comedy Lead Actress

In a heartfelt acceptance speech, she expressed, "Thank you so much just I don’t know why I’m so emotional, I think just like, the Carol Burnett of it all, thank you so much I love making Abbott Elementary so much and I am so happy to be able to live my dream and act out comedy, and I say it every time and I just love comedy so much that I am so happy to be able to get this," she continued. "I didn’t prepare anything because I just didn't think... Oh god. I love my mom, my dad. My sisters, my brothers. My entire family so much. I love my husband. I'm so happy. I love my cast. Oh, I love Abbott Elementary. Thank you so much."

Playing the role of Philadelphia school teacher Janine Teagues in the ABC series, the 34-year-old Brunson secured three Emmy nominations this year, showcasing her versatile talents in writing, acting, and executive producing "Abbott Elementary." During her emotional speech, she thanked her family, cast, and expressed sheer happiness for being able to live her dream in the world of comedy.

This historic win for Brunson not only recognizes her achievement but also marks a significant milestone, breaking a long-standing gap since Isabel Sanford's win in 1961. The simultaneous victory of Ayo Edebiri in the comedy categories further adds to the groundbreaking moment, making it the first time a pair of Black actresses have won both categories in the same year.

Abbott Elementary is set to return for its third season on Feb. 7, promising to continue the engaging story after a much-anticipated kiss between Janine and Gregory, portrayed by outstanding supporting comedy actor nominee Tyler James Williams.


Emmy Awards 2024: Who were the other nominees for Comedy Lead Actress

Brunson faced tough competition, surpassing nominees such as Christina Applegate, Rachel Brosnahan, Natasha Lyonne, and Jenna Ortega. Applegate, dealing with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, found solace in her role in Dead to Me. Brosnahan's journey with "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" concluded with the show's fifth season. 


Lyonne, in Peacock's Poker Face, showcased her skills in portraying a character with the unique ability to identify lies. Ortega, a first-time nominee for her role in Wednesday, revealed plans to embrace the horror aspect in the show's upcoming season, promising an exploration of vampires, werewolves, and superpowers.


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