- Actress Ellie Kemper is facing backlash for participating in the St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball.
- The St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball has a history of racism.
- Kemper is set to star in Disney’s upcoming Home Alone reboot.
Actress Ellie Kemper, who has starred in popular comedy series such as The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is being canceled by social media users who are calling her a “KKK princess” or a “KKK pageant queen”.
Kemper, now 41-years-old, participated in and was named the 1999 Queen of Love and Beauty at St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball. Photos of the event from over 20 years ago have recently gone viral due to the fact that the St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball has a controversial past.
So was no one gonna tell me Ellie kemper aka kimmy Schmidt was crowned KKK queen in 1999 pic.twitter.com/QdHJ6wGZGv
— charlie (@dianahungerr) May 31, 2021
While the St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball has no direct ties to the Ku Klux Klan, the Veiled Prophet Organization previously barred African-Americans and Jewish-Americans from joining. Those rules were not changed until 1979.
According to The Atlantic, who wrote about the St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball back in 2014, the event “emphasized the existing power structure” of St. Louis by a society of “wealthy and well-connected locals”.
Feeling the heat from industrial competitors to the North and labor unrest inside the city, the business elite of St. Louis decided in 1878 to double down on the static racial and economic power structure of the city. The Veiled Prophet Ball and Fair was a powerful symbol of that reassertion of control.
Seeing the first couple “Ellie Kemper was a KKK princess” tweets on the horizon pic.twitter.com/Tsx4GqKIeh
— crab on the vine (@crab_helen) May 31, 2021
Ellie Kemper being a KKK princess is so random that I'm not even sure where to begin with the questions
— Zito (@_Zeets) May 31, 2021
me name searching ellie kemper pic.twitter.com/Op9HBGyVdp
— the heath (2013) (@feeltheheath) May 31, 2021
The #EllieKemper headlines and stories of being a KKK Princess is not what I expected in 2021.
Moral of the story: trust no White woman until proven otherwise. pic.twitter.com/RmJPuR8TMR
— maybe: mulan (@mubelafonte) June 1, 2021
“Hey why’s Ellie Kemper trendi…” pic.twitter.com/NTOg2BdIU6
— Dustin Brewer (@dstnbrwr) May 31, 2021
it really is something that Ellie Kemper was the star of a tv show about a woman who leaves a racist cult and tries to rebrand herself while pretending it never happened. no reason why I'm bringing this up of course.
— Jon Negroni (@JonNegroni) May 31, 2021
Ellie Kemper’s publicist checking their phone at the bbq today pic.twitter.com/3ctQ4PdAgz
— Yolanda Winston is a Vaccine Slut (@robinsparklezz) May 31, 2021
Not Wikipedia already on Ellie kemper neck😭😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/PDNEHQiVhR
— Erik S. (@eriksmith514) May 31, 2021
So…Ellie Kemper was a KKK princess??? And no one knew about it???
— Imani Barbarin, MAGC | Crutches&Spice ♿️ (@Imani_Barbarin) May 31, 2021
Really hope people don't just take away "Ellie Kemper was part of a racist ball" from the trending story, but take away the bigger picture "a lot of the wealthy and famous people you know were part of deeply fucked up racist shit, because deeply fucked up racist shit is ongoing."
— Rob of X (@RobertSecundus) June 1, 2021
Not everyone was quick to cancel Kemper, though:
People are falsely saying Ellie Kemper was in a KKK beauty pageant. The org reinforces the racist power structures that birthed it but also it’s not the KKK and was accepting Black members by the 70’s. Shit’s complicated, American institutions are racist. https://t.co/9q77MvJfQX
— 🗯 (@samthielman) June 1, 2021
There is not a single iota of evidence that Ellie Kemper is racist. So naturally, Twitter is trending her and blue checks are calling her a "KKK princess." What absolute garbage.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 1, 2021
It’s fascinating that people are focused on whether Ellie Kemper was deb in a racist group at 19, & not whether her father & uncle, both major bank CEOs, belonged to that organization
— Ms. Rosenberg (@Miz_Rosenberg) June 1, 2021
At the time of this writing, Kemper has yet to make a public statement on her participation in the St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball.
In addition to her role of Erin Hannon in The Office and Kimmy Schmidt in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kemper is known for her roles in films such as Get Him To The Greek, Bridesmaids, 21 Jump Street, Identity Thief, Sex Tape, The Secret Life of Pets, and The Lego Batman Movie. She’s also set to star as Pam in Disney’s upcoming Home Alone remake.