Clapback class is in session! Quinta Brunson swiftly shut down an Abbott Elementary critic who questioned the show’s take on charter schools.
Center of Education Reform’s CEO Jeanne Allen called out the 33-year-old creator and star of the ABC series in a since-deleted tweet that brought up Brunson’s own educational background. “I’ll share it again. The creator, lead writer and co-producer of @AbbottElemABC @quintabrunson is from West Philly and attended charter schools her entire education,” Allen claimed. “She reportedly loved it at the time, heaped praise on it. Once upon a time. Guess money talks.”
The Emmy winner didn’t mince words when she responded on Thursday, March 16. “You’re wrong and bad at research,” Brunson tweeted. “I only attended a charter for high school. My public elementary school was transitioned to charter over a decade after I left. I did love my high school. That school is now defunct- which happens to charters often.”
She ended her fiery message on a lighthearted note, adding, “Loving something doesn’t mean it can’t be critiqued. Thanks for watching the show :).”
Brunson stars as Janine Teagues on the mockumentary-style series, which premiered in December 2021. The sitcom follows the teachers and students of Abbott Elementary, an underfunded public school in Philadelphia which faces the looming threat of being taken over by a popular charter school network.
The Miracle Workers alum has been outspoken about the inspiration behind her critically acclaimed show, telling Insider in March 2022 that she was “very interested” in exploring the dynamic between public and charter education. “It’s like, why can’t we give public schools more though? Why do they have to change into a charter school in order to be considered worthy?” she wondered.
Abbott Elementary has quickly become a fan favorite, with viewers praising the show’s unique perspective and quippy humor. As Janine and her fellow young teachers attempt to hold their own alongside longtime educators Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter) and Barbara Howard (Sheryl Lee Ralph), she begins to explore her feelings for first-grade teacher Gregory Eddie (Tyler James Williams). The coworkers finally kissed in a highly anticipated romantic moment during the February 22 episode — but their story still has a long way to go.
“I love the fact that Gregory is taking time to really, really learn about himself as a man. Janine is taking the time to learn about herself as a woman — working out some of her sticky relationships. I think that is very important for the two of them because I just love Janine and Gregory,” Ralph, 66, exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this year. “I’m just like, ‘You all respect it. Be careful and take your time.’”
The Tony nominee played coy while teasing what’s to come for the characters, adding, “I can’t tell you anything about what’s going to happen with [their relationship]. But you’re going to learn and see more of people’s families and that’s a wonderful thing. And I honestly believe that this is going to be a season where people are satisfied. [They will be] very, very satisfied.”
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Abbott Elementary airs on ABC Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.