Abbott Elementary fans have a lot to celebrate today, but Quinta Brunson’s history making Emmy nominations are a particularly special achievement. The writer, creator, and star of ABC’s breakout sitcom became the first Black woman to earn three Emmy nominations in the comedy category in the same year.
Brunson is nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (for the pilot episode), and for Outstanding Comedy Series. Per Variety, she is also the youngest Black woman ever nominated in the comedy acting category at 32 years old. That category has only ever had one Black female winner in its history (Isabel Sanford for The Jeffersons); Lena Waithe is the only Black woman to win in the comedy writing category (as a co-writer for Master Of None with Aziz Ansari).
“What an honor to be nominated by the Television Academy. Creating this show has been the greatest gift and to have it recognized in this way is the dream. It’s a joy we get to share with the amazing people who watched our first season,” Brunson said in a statement to Good Morning America. None of this would be possible without my incredible, supportive EP’s Justin Halpern, Randall Einhorn & Patrick Schumacker, our incredible writers room, our insanely talented cast, and the hard-working teams at ABC and WBTV for helping to bring Abbott Elementary to life. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank teachers. Thanks for being our inspiration.”
Abbott earned seven total nominations, including Brunson’s three. Her co-stars Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Tyler James Williams earned their own supporting actor nominations. The show was also recognized for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series (understandably so, given the amount of cast members who ended up nominated for Emmys).
Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman Channing Dungey praised “the incomparable Quinta Brunson” in a statement, saying, “With Abbott Elementary, she has created a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to public school teachers. Quinta had a singular vision for this show: to tell authentic stories of everyday heroes for a network television audience. And today she made history as the first Black woman to receive three Emmy nominations for a comedy series in a single year! We couldn’t be more excited for her accomplishments and for the entire Abbott team.”