Ellie Kemper's fans demand she respond to accusations she was 'KKK queen' at 'racist' Veiled Prophet Ball as a teen
ELLIE Kemper's fans demanded she respond to accusations she was the "KKK queen" at "racist" Veiled Prophet Ball as a teen.
The debutante ball was originally founded by white elitists and it excluded multiple racial groups, include Black communities, and it has been compared to the KKK by their costumes.
On Monday, Ellie began to trend on Twitter after a 1999 picture of her resurfaced online.
In the picture, the actress, who rose to fame for her role in The Office, was wearing a formal dress and had been named the Queen of the controversial St Louis' Veiled Prophet Ball, where members wore KKK-style hoods.
Fans quickly flocked the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star's social media and took over one of her most recent posts, where she talked about a charity she was fond of.
They demanded Ellie address the recent scandal, with one fan writing: "Omg not you being Miss KKK, Queen of '99."
A second one commented: "You need to make a statement now. You need to reach out to your publicist.
"If you value your career then it's time to get in front of this. It's getting ugly."
A third shared: "So let's talk about this KKK princess, sis?"
Multiple others demanded an explanation, while another one commented: "We need to talk about your history."
Another fan asked specifically what she thought about the debutante ball these days.
Every Fourth of July, downtown St. Louis comes alive with music, hot-air balloons, and fireworks, and food for the "St Louis Fair," formerly known as the Veiled Prophet Ball until the early 1990s, The Atlantic reports.
It started in 1878 when grain executive and former Confederate cavalryman Charles Slayback called a meeting of local business and civic leaders.
His intention was to form a secret society that would blend the pomp and ritual of a New Orleans Mardi Gras.
It turned into an elaborate ritual where someone from a secret board of local elites would be chosen to anonymously play the role of the Veiled Prophet.
The Veiled Prophet would choose a "Queen of Love and Beauty," which Ellie was selected as age 19, from among the elite ball attendees with whom he would dance a "Royal Quadrille" before presenting her with an expensive keepsake such as a tiara or pearls.
The fair has been long-associated with its secretive nature and "elitism," as historian Thomas Spencer explained: "The parade and all its pomp was meant to reinforce the values of the elite on the working class of the city," however there is no evidence of a direct link to the KKK.
But a 1878 edition of the Missouri Republican shows a picture of the Veiled Prophet with a striking resemblance to a Klansman.
In the early seventies, the fair was crashed by protesters, the Action Committee to Improve Opportunities for Negroes, campaigning to abolish the ball that "flaunted its wealth in front of the city's poorest residents."
And as was the case for most of the Deep South at the time, racial segregation was rampant and the Veiled Prophet didn't allow Black members to join until 1979, further incensing protestors at the time.
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