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Emmys: Quinta Brunson blazes trail for young Black women in comedy with ‘Abbott Elementary’ nominations


Quinta Brunson and her show “Abbott Elementary” are breaking ground at the Emmys this year.

The West Philadelphia native is the first Black woman to earn three nominations in the comedy categories in the same year, Variety reported. At 32, she’s also the youngest Black woman ever nominated in the comedy acting category.

Brunson and the show were nominated for best outstanding comedy series, best lead actress in a comedy series and best writing for a comedy series (for the “Pilot”), 

She created the mockumentary about an underfunded Philadelphia public school and plays protagonist Janine Teagues, an optimistic second grade teacher.

The show has been a critical and commercial success. Ratings have quadrupled since it first aired in December 2021, which is why Brunson is now working on a second season, 6ABC reported.

The actress said she was “speechless” in a tweet responding to the nominations on Tuesday afternoon.

“Crying, shaking and throwing up has new meaning to me because I real life did all three,” she said.

The lead actress in a comedy and writing for a comedy series categories have each only had one Black woman winner in the Emmys’ 74-year history.

Isabel Sanford won in 1981 for her role as Louise in the CBS show “The Jeffersons” and Lena Waithe won in 2017 for her work on Netflix’s “Master of None” with co-writer Aziz Ansari.

Some of Brunson’s supporting cast has been nominated, as well.

Janelle James, who portrays the school’s principal, and Sheryl Lee Ralph, who stars as another teacher, were nominated as supporting actresses in a comedy series. Tyler James Williams, who plays another teacher, is nominated for best supporting actor in a comedy.

The show also earned a nomination for its casting.

The Emmys will air on NBC at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12. This year’s host has not been announced yet.





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