Abbott Elementary's Team Gave Away Their Entire Emmy Campaign Budget To Schools In Need

At last night's 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards, "Abbott Elementary" star Sheryl Lee Ralph won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, with creator, showrunner, and star Quinta Brunson taking home the statue for Best Writing for a Comedy Series. Those weren't the only awards they were up for either. Janelle James was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Tyler James Williams for Best Supporting Actor, and the show got a nom for Best Comedy Series too. That's a whole lot of notice for a show that is only in its first season.

If you haven't watched the ABC series, it follows an underfunded Philadelphia public school system, but it tackles the timely and relevant education issue with a comedy lens. As it turns out, the series deserves yet another award: Best Use of Emmy Promotional Budget. According to a tweet from Yvette Nicole Brown ("Community"), the show gave its entire awards promo budget to schools in need. 

Brown tweeted:

"Learning that the @AbbottElemABC team gave their entire #Emmy's promotion budget to schools in need should tell you all you need to know to celebrate and support @quintabrunson and the show! #love

Is there anything lovelier to hear than this? The "Abbott Elementary" production team and the network made the joint decision to do this, according to an interview Brunson did with NPR in February, and the series still took home two statues. Sometimes a great show speaks for itself.

Putting your money where your mouth is

Brunson told NPR about the decision, saying, "We chose to put the marketing money toward supplies for teachers. It's about being able to make those kinds of decisions that really excite me, things that can really materially help people." Brunson has a personal history in the public school system. Her mother taught in a place like the fictional Abbott Elementary for 40 years. Brunson herself attended one as well and named the fictional school after one of her teachers.

Sometimes the best way to get people to listen to your message is through comedy. Brunson told the LA Times in an interview earlier this year, "It's about making people laugh, but also about making them think a little bit more about what teachers have done for people," as /Film's own BJ Colangelo reports in her story about the series.

We all know that teachers in America are woefully underpaid, and far too many school systems suffer from underfunding. It's wonderful to see a production put their money where their mouth is. Hopefully, it will bring more attention (and money) to teachers who so often pay for supplies with their own paycheck on top of putting their hearts and souls into their work. 

"Abbott Elementary" has been renewed for a second season, which will begin airing on September 21, 2022. The first season is currently available on Hulu and HBO Max.