Quinta Brunson, the star and creator of "Abbott Elementary," has every reason to want to promote her hit ABC series — but that didn't stop her from redirecting some of the show's marketing money to help real-life teachers buy supplies.
"We chose to put the marketing money toward supplies for teachers,” Brunson, 32, revealed during a recent interview with NPR's "Fresh Air."
Brunson, who plays a second-grade teacher at an under-resourced, predominantly Black elementary school in Philadelphia on the series, said the show's production team and ABC agreed to use some of the money in their marketing to give to teachers in need.
“It’s about being able to make those kinds of decisions that really excite me, things that can really materially help people," she said.
Brunson’s mom, a teacher for 40 years at a school that lacked sufficient resources, inspired her to create “Abbott Elementary.”
“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,” the actor and writer said of her mother.
“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.
Though her mom’s dedication to education gave the former "A Black Lady Sketch Show" star the idea to write "Abbott Elementary," Brunson actually named the series after her supportive 6th grade teacher, Ms. Abbott.
Ms. Abbott, Brunson explained, was a source of comfort to her after she switched to Ms. Abbott’s school after spending five years at the same school where her mom taught.
“I was scared to go into the real world or what I looked at as the real world at the time, and (Ms. Abbott) just took me under her wing,” she recalled.
“She was an incredible teacher who put her all into it, making sure that her students felt special and were ready for the world.”