Quinta Brunson - 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals

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Quinta Brunson wasn’t afraid to call out a famous sitcom for its lack of diversity during her monologue on Saturday Night Live (SNL) April 1.

The first time host kicked off her funny, but shady speech with a little synopsis of her Emmy Award-winning show Abbott Elementary. Brunson, 33, compared the buzzing sitcom to Friends for those who had never seen the show.

“Except instead of being about a group of friends, it’s about a group of teachers. And instead of New York, it’s in Philadelphia. And instead of not having Black people, it does!” the actress said, as the SNL audience burst into laughter and applause at the Friends shade, according to Rolling Stone.

Further along in her monologue, the comedian and writer shared that she created the buzzing ABC series to pay homage to her mother, who was a teacher in Philadelphia.

Brunson stars as the sweet and happy-go-lucky Janine Teagues on the hit sitcom.  The 4-foot-11 star joked that off camera, her personality in real life was not as innocent as the fictional character.

“Janine Teagues is a caring second grade teacher, who’s good and wholesome, but I’m the opposite,” she quipped. “I mean, I’m not a filthy whore, but I like to have fun. I need to be able to live my life without someone recording me going, ‘Damn, Miss Teagues is out here getting wasted at Universal Studios.’”

Then, the former Buzzfeed content creator shifted to a serious note, calling on lawmakers to pay teachers fairly.

“Acknowledge the work they do every day,” the star said. “And for the love of God, pay them the money they deserve.”

Quinta Brunson is passionate about helping teachers in need

In 2022, Brunson launched several initiatives to help teachers gain access to critical funding.

During an interview with NPR’s fresh air in March 2022, the West Philadelphia native revealed that she and her production crew donated part of Abbott Elementary’s salary to help teachers purchase school supplies.

The Black Lady Sketch Show alum said she was inspired to give back thanks to her mother. Growing up, she could see how passionate her mom was about her students, even when underfunding presented challenges in the classroom.

“Despite it getting harder, despite teachers not having all the support they need, despite kids growing even more unruly than they’ve been in recent time … she still loved the job,” Brunson explained of her mother’s resilience. “The beauty is someone being so resilient for a job that is so underpaid and so under-appreciated because it makes them feel fulfilled,” she added.

Last year, Brunson also teamed up with Scholastic to throw free book fairs to help underfunded schools across the United States.

RELATED CONTENT: Abbott Elementary Partners With Scholastic To Throw Book Fairs For Underfunded Schools

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