Comedian, show creator, and queen of viral comedy, Quinta Brunson went from Black Women in Hollywood Guest to honoree in just a short span of two years – a remarkable feat that isn’t lost on the actress.

Accepting her award from Donald Glover, wearing a green/yellow custom Hanifa high slit gown, Brunson jokingly thanked him for wearing his best leisure attire to the ceremony, before revealing what a valuable supporter he had been early in her career.

“In 2020, I went to my first-ever ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood luncheon. Pre-pandemic and pre-racial reckoning, most of my worries were minor at the time,” she said, recalling being a guest just two years ago. “I was invited to go to this incredible luncheon that I planned on sneaking into. Like, wow,” she laughed.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 24: (L-R) Donald Glover presents an award to honoree Quinta Brunson during the 2022 15th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on March 24, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Brunson said her only worry was that the affair, like so many others she had attended in Hollywood before, would be stuffy, awkward, and fake. Naturally, the comedian says she quickly found those concerns to be unfounded.

“As the day went on, my worry was rendered pointless. I actually didn’t want the luncheon to end. The luncheon energized me,” she continued. “The warmth you feel from a room of a bunch of Black women – I soon learned, that would be the only Hollywood event where I’d ever really feel that kind of warmth again. So, thank you ESSENCE for putting 200 Black women in the same room and recharging us all.”

“To be in the presence of Nia, Chanté, and Aunjanue is a little bit beyond me. It’s a little bit too much. I’ve had to pinch myself multiple times. Nia is a testament to beauty, talent, grace, and longevity in this industry. Chanté is a modern stunner who literally blows me away every time she’s onscreen – I have DM’d you about this,” she said in an aside to Adams. “You take my breath away, truly.”

“And, Aunjanue is a dynamo, whom I can only imagine to be half as good as one day,” she continued. “I want to have the talent that is in your right pinky in my whole body. You are out of control, it’s really not okay,” she told Ellis.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 24: Honoree Quinta Brunson accepts an award onstage during the 2022 15th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on March 24, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Brunson noted the important role fellow Black women have played in her life – from her mother and aunts, to her teachers and choir directors, down to random women that pay her kind compliments. She says all that she does is an effort to show them in the light in which she has always appreciated them.

“I understand that receiving his honor means that I am a representation of all of them, and I don’t take that lightly,” she said. “I hope that I am and can continue to make every single one of them proud. One of the reasons I created three Black women characters on Abbott Elementary was because I was excited to show our work dynamics and how at the end of the day, in most cases, we can still operate at our best in sisterhood, understanding, and love.”

Black Women in Hollywood is available to view via Essence Studios.

The 2022 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Ford, Disney’s Onyx Collective, SmartWater and Warner Brothers Television Group

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