The 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards may have not had a host, but Thomas Lennon was enlisted to be a commentator. The comedian provided one of the biggest laughs in the first hour with his subtle burn of Felicity Huffman. The Desperate Housewives star was sentenced to 14 days in prison for her role in the college admissions scandal earlier this month.
"The producers have asked me to give a special shout-out to any of our previous lead actress winners who are watching from prison. Hopefully those two weeks are going to fly right by," Lennon joked.
Huffman fits the bill as a "lead actress winner," having won an Emmy in 2005 for her role as Lynette Scavo on Desperate Housewives. She was nominated for the role in 2007 and was nominated for American Crime in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The joke sparked plenty of comments from viewers on Twitter.
Goddamn, Thomas Lennon burned Felicity Huffman worse than the Amazon rainforest. 🔥— Black CelebraSEAN (@ebbhead) September 23, 2019
if you want to write a felicity huffman joke ding her for the elitism, the cheating, the hypocrisy - the fact she’s going to jail for 2 weeks is meaningless. weak writing— Mere Smith (@EvilGalProds) September 23, 2019
Oh snap! That Felicity Huffman dig was 🔥 🔥 🔥!!!September 23, 2019
......I didn’t think that felicity huffman joke was funny like at all #emmys— allie craig (@alliecraigslist) September 23, 2019
On Sept. 13, Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for her role in the college admissions scandal. She was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and serve 250 hours of community service.
According to prosecutors, Huffman paid $15,000 to William Singer, a college admissions consultant, to fix the SAT scores of her eldest daughter Sofia. She was one of 15 parents to plead guilty to charges in the scandal.
"I accept the court's decision today without reservation," Huffman said in a written statement at her sentencing. "I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge Talwani imposed. I broke the law. I have admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period."
One person probably not happy with Lennon's joke is John Legend. The singer, who has been an advocate for prison reform, voiced opposition to Huffman's sentence.
"I get why everyone gets mad when rich person X gets a short sentence and poor person of color Y gets a long one. The answer isn't for X to get more," Legend tweeted on Sept. 14. "It's for both of them to get less (or even none!!!) We should level down not up."
"No one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions. We don't need to lock people up for any of this stuff," Legend later added.
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