Ellie Kemper's fans angry the actress 'omitted' family's wealth & 'racist' Veiled Prophet Ball from her 2018 memoir
ELLIE Kemper's fans are angry the actress "omitted" her family's wealth and her participation in the "racist" Veiled Prophet Ball from her 2018 memoir, My Squirrel Days.
The actress has come under fire in the past week after a picture of her as the Veiled Prophet Ball's Queen resurfaced.
Following the recent scandal surrounding the actress, fans spoke out after having read Ellie's memoir and noticing that she never mentioned the Ball, despite it seemingly being an important event.
She also avoided talking about how important her grandparents are in the history of St. Louis.
The summary of the book, according to Simon and Schuster, reads: "Meet Ellie, the best-intentioned redhead next door.
"You’ll laugh right alongside her as she shares tales of her childhood in St. Louis, whether directing and also starring in her family holiday pageant, washing her dad’s car with a Brillo pad, failing to become friends with a plump squirrel in her backyard, eating her feelings while watching PG-13 movies, or becoming a 'sports monster' who ends up warming the bench of her Division 1 field hockey team in college."
As the scandal continued to escalate, one fan tweeted: "You mean to tell me that Ellie Kemper *wrote a book about her experiences growing up in St. Louis* and didn't think to mention this little tidbit?"
A second one echoed their sentiments and wrote: "The Ellie Kemper stuff… whew. My take: I read My Squirrel Days and found it quite funny.
"However, I don't recall her talking about how she comes from 4th gen old money where her family has museums and arenas named after them. Either she's oblivious to that (I doubt) or …
"Ellie Kemper willingly chose to omit that information. She talks a lot about hard work, but there's a difference when you come from a middle-class family or when your father is Harvard and Stanford and a bank CEO. That provides an advantage for getting into Princeton…
"and also having the freedom to pursue musical theater and then a Hollywood career. And of course, white supremacy and participating in their institutions is a whole part of that."
On Monday, Ellie's name began to trend on Twitter after a 1999 picture of her resurfaced online, where she 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 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?"
Despite the actress remaining quiet, the Veiled Prophet Organization stepped forward to defend their event.
The group exclusively told The Sun on Tuesday: "We absolutely reject racism and have never partnered or associated with any organization that harbors these beliefs."
The organization has dedicated itself to the "civic progress, economic contributions and charitable causes in St. Louis."
In their commitment to supporting St. Louis over the past 143 years, the Veiled Prophet Organization has annually hosted "dozens of community service projects" and donated "tens of thousands of dollars and service hours to support a variety of charity partners," which included Beyond Housing, Mission, St. Louis, Missouri Veterans Endeavor, North Side Community School, Promise Community Homes, Brightside St. Louis, and Forest Park Forever.
The statement from the VP organization continued: "Making many significant infrastructure and cultural gifts to the City, including lighting of the Eads Bridge, the Mississippi River Overlook and the mile-long Riverfront Promenade, and partnering in providing the Grand Staircase beneath the Arch as part of the National Park System and to the irrigation system as part of Forest Park Forever."
The America’s Birthday Parade and Fair St. Louis have reflected "the diversity of the St. Louis community" and included "a wide variety of partners," such as PrideFest and the Annie Malone Parade.
An employee also came forward to defend the actress – and the event.
An employee of what was formerly known as the Veiled Prophet Ball exclusively told The Sun: “It's 130, almost 140-year-old organization. And I don’t believe any organization that is 50 to 100 years old looks anything like it did originally.”
“We, the organization, back in the late 50s, early 60s made a concerted effort based on the premise that you cannot serve the community unless that entire community is represented in the organization. And so I think the organization is reflective of the community and the makeup of the community,” the source explains.
The source noted Ellie's participation in the event in 1999 was decades after the organization's efforts reflected the accurate makeup of the St. Louis community, and added that she participated well beyond any potentially problematic point in its history.
The source continued to explain the current charitable nature of the organization, which is now called Fair St. Louis: "So much of the energies of this organization are focused on community service and have given huge projects or gifts to the city and to various agencies, who I'm sure would be more than happy to stand up and validate that.”
The Fair St. Louis employee continued: “This is an organization whose members are St. Louis families, who have been in business in St. Louis for many years.
"Since its founding, the organization was created to do something positive, and help make St. Louis a better place to live.”
As far as the storied past of the Veiled Prophet Ball, the source contended: “The theory, that the organization was steeped in racism is a theory that stems from a book that was an overreach of somebody's doctoral thesis. That's a hypothesis that someone's presenting, but based on the history that I know, I do not agree with it.”
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.
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.
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.
An 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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