“The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star Ellie Kemper apologized Monday for her involvement more than two decades ago in a St. Louis debutante ball with racist origins.
In a post on Instagram, Kemper said she agreed to participate in the Veiled Prophet Ball in 1999, when she was 19.
“The century-old organization that hosted the debutante ball had an unquestionably racist, sexist, and elitist past,” Kemper wrote in part. “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.”
Kemper’s participation in the Veiled Prophet Ball became a subject of conversation on Twitter last week, with some users resurfacing newspaper clippings from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch showing she was crowned the “Queen of Love and Beauty” on Dec. 24, 1999. She was a student at Princeton University at the time.