Ellie Kemper apologizes for past association with ‘racist, sexist and elitist’ debutante ball

Ellie Kemper has broken her silence amid the Veiled Prophet Ball controversy. Over Memorial Day weekend, photos were resurfaced of the actress — known for roles in Bridesmaids, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Office — being crowned the 1999 Queen of Love and Beauty at the debutante ball when she was 19 and a freshman at Princeton University. The ball (now called the Fair Saint Louis) is run by the St. Louis-based Veiled Prophet Organization, which was co-founded in the 1870s by former Confederate Colonel Alonzo Slayback, his brother, Confederate officer Charles Slayback and some white, wealthy business owners. The organization was known for racist and exclusionary practices prior to Kemper's involvement, including barring Black members until 1979 after protests from civil rights groups. The ball celebrated the city's wealthy white elite.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting