Iconic comedic actress Jennifer Coolidge won her very first Emmy on Monday night for her role as the pampered, grieving Tanya McQuoid in the first season of HBO’s anthology series The White Lotus — as if we had any doubt. But the 61-year-old star of such classic films as American Pie and Best in Show was hardly given the respect she so very commands and deserves while accepting her award, prompting the ire of fans online.
Coolidge seemed genuinely dazed with the win, giving off a trademark, “Hey, hi!” when she finally made her way onstage. “Wow, thank you, gosh, what a night!” she exclaimed. “I just wanna say to my fellow nominees, just to be in your company is incredible.”
But then she took her speech into classic Coolidge territory.
“And you know, I just wanna say, I took a lavender bath tonight, right before the show, and it made me swell up inside my dress, and uh, I’m having a hard time speaking,” she continued, laughing. “But anyway … this is so thrilling.” Coolidge then remembered her scrap of paper with names to thank. “I didn’t think this was gonna happen — hold on, wait wait wait,” she said, remembering to list off producers of The White Lotus and HBO execs.
Unfortunately, whoever was in charge of the music they use to curb long speeches must have forgotten that they were clearly in the presence of greatness, and as such began to play Coolidge off.
“Wait no hold on, this is a once in a lifetime thing, and I’m full, I’m full,” she pleaded, frantically continuing to read out names, as the music began to reach a crescendo to, insultingly enough, “Hit the Road Jack.” But instead of walking off stage, Coolidge instead beamed and began dancing to the music before being handed her Emmy.
But as incredibly as Coolidge handled the awkward moment, fans were downright pissed, demanding to know in all-caps how exactly one simply “plays off” Jennifer Coolidge.
Others had more pointed observations, from even suggesting that playing off a gay icon like Coolidge was homophobic, to pointing out that previous Emmy winter Michael Keaton was, for some reason, given a bit more grace, and so on.
Others decided to focus on how instantly iconic her speech was, in spite of the rude interruption.
In addition to Coolidge’s win, The White Lotus predictably cleaned house at this year’s Emmys. Earlier in the ceremony, Murray Bartlett took home win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series, Movie, Anthology, and series creator Mike White later won for writing and directing. And of course, The White Lotus concluded its sweep by clinching Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. We love to see it.