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Ellie Kemper Addresses Massive Backlash After Her Participation in Veiled Prophet Ball From 1999

Ellie Kemper Addresses Massive Backlash After Her Participation in Veiled Prophet Ball From 1999

Ellie Kemper is responding to the controversy she was involved with last week when it was discovered that she was crowned the queen of the 1999 Veiled Prophet Ball when she was 19.

If you don’t know the history behind the annual debutante ball, it was founded by wealthy White elites back in 1878 and “emphasized the existing power structure.”

An anonymous person played the “Veiled Prophet” at each ball and that person, who was chosen by local elites, got to choose the Queen of Love and Beauty at each ball. Ellie received this title back in 1999, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. An article from the paper, written in December 1999, states that she was “the 105th young woman to be so honored by the Veiled Prophet organization. She wore a white satin square-neck gown designed by Tomasina and purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue.”

Ellie became a major trending topic after her past participation was revealed.

Click inside to read Ellie’s response…

Ellie posted a statement on her Instagram, writing, “When I was 19 years old, I decided to participate in a debutante ball in my hometown. The century-old organization that hosted the debutante ball had an unquestionably racist, sexist, and elitist past. I was not aware of this history at the time, but ignorance is no excuse. I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved.”

“I unequivocally deplore, denounce and reject white supremacy. At the same time, I acknowledge that because of my race and privilege, I am the beneficiary of a system that has dispense unequal justice and unequal rewards.”

Ellie continued, “There is a very natural temptation when you become the subject of internet criticism, to tell yourself that your detractors are getting it all wrong. But at some point last week, I realized that a lot of the forces behind the criticism are forces that I’ve spent my life supporting and agreeing with.”

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star added, “I believe strongly in the values of kindness, integrity and inclusiveness. I try to live my life in accordance with these values. If my experience is an indication that organizations and institutions with pasts that fall short of these beliefs should be held to account, then I have to see this experience in a positive light.”

Her statement concluded with, “I want to apologize to the people I’ve disappointed, and I promise that moving forward I will listen, continue to educate myself, and use my privilege in support of the better society I think we’re capable of becoming.”

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Ellie Kemper

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