Ellie Kemper has acknowledged her past role in an pageant that has a racist history and wants fans to know it's something she's not proud of! On Monday, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star took to Instagram to address her participation in the Veiled Prophet Ball at 19 years old, which had been recently condemned by the internet after learning of it.
Kemper admits "ignorance is no excuse" for her participation
Kemper was crowned "Queen of Love and Beauty" at the event, which was held in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri in 1999. In her post, she acknowledged that the Veiled Prophet "had an unquestionably racist, sexist and elitist past" as an organization, and admitted she should have done her research before participating.
"I was not aware of the history at the time, but ignorance is not an excuse," Kemper stated. "I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved." The actress then affirmed her current values, publicly denouncing white supremacy and also acknowledging her own privilege.
Kemper shares how criticism of past actions gave her insight
Kemper then went on to say that instead of giving into the "temptation" to defend herself against the online backlash she faced, she instead found herself listening to where it was coming from. She explained that "forces that I've spent my life supporting and agreeing with" had called her actions into question, and this caused her to change her approach.
"I believe strongly in the values of kindness, integrity, and inclusiveness," she said. "I try to live my life in accordance with these values. The actress said that because of the push for accountability that has resulted from her involvement in the debutante ball, she feels the outcome can be seen in a "positive light".
Kemper ended her post by thanking those who read it and vowing to do better. She made her commitment to do the work clear, expressing how she "will listen, continue to educate myself, and use my privilege in support of the better society I think we're capable of becoming."