Ellie Kemper faces backlash after photo of ‘racist’ pageant resurfaces

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper faces backlash online after it was revealed she was crowned the winner of the 1999 election for a Missouri organization that once banned black members and celebrated the wealthy white elite.

A photo of the actress who was crowned winner of the Veiled Prophet Ball in St. Louis when she was 19 years old went viral on Twitter this weekend.

The image, which originally appeared in the St. Louis Dispatch newspaper, sparked controversy after an individual called Kemper the “KKK Queen” for being crowned the winner.

Although a historical depiction of a veiled prophet with a person wearing a hood and robes has drawn comparisons to the KKK, there are no known links between the organization and Klansman.

This photo of Ellie Kemper being crowned winner of the Veiled Prophet Ball in St. Louis when she was 19 years old went viral on Twitter this weekend.  The image sparked controversy after one person called Kemper the 'KKK queen' for being crowned the winner

This photo of Ellie Kemper being crowned winner of the Veiled Prophet Ball in St. Louis when she was 19 years old went viral on Twitter this weekend. The image sparked controversy after one person called Kemper the ‘KKK queen’ for being crowned the winner

Kemper, whose real name is Elizabeth, was a 19-year-old student at Princeton University when she was crowned Queen of Love and Beauty in 1999.

Kemper, whose real name is Elizabeth, was a 19-year-old student at Princeton University when she was crowned Queen of Love and Beauty in 1999.

Historians have previously pointed out how the organization was founded in the late 1870s, which is decades before the KKK was founded in the early 1900s.

However, the Veiled Prophet Organization has been criticized in the past for its racist history and ties to white supremacy.

The Veiled Prophet Organization was founded in 1878 as a secret society in St. Louis by a group of wealthy white businessmen.

Founder Charles Slayback was a grain manager and former Confederate cavalryman.

The organization banned black and Jewish members until 1979.

It still holds its annual Veiled Prophet Ball every year, similar to a debutante event where members present their daughters to society.

At the ball, a girl is crowned queen of love and beauty.

The winner is crowned by the ‘Veiled Prophet’ – a member of the organization who covers their faces with a white veil to keep their identities secret. The member who is the veiled prophet is supposed to change every year.

The prom’s website states that 60 to 70 young women are chosen each year for “their extraordinary efforts in community work.”

They “walk the beautiful 72-meter Veiled Prophet runway in fashionable couture dresses, and in front of family and friends, they are presented and honored for their contributions.”

A historical depiction of a veiled prophet with a person dressed in a hood and robe has drawn comparisons to the KKK

There are no known links between the organization and the white supremacists

While a historical image of a veiled prophet with a person wearing a hood and robes has drawn comparisons to the KKK, there are no known links between the organization and the white supremacists.

The actress, who starred in The Office and Bridesmaids, was the organization's 105th winner.  She comes from one of Missouri's wealthiest banking families and her father, David Kemper, is the chairman of Commerce Bank

The actress, who starred in The Office and Bridesmaids, was the organization’s 105th winner. She comes from one of Missouri’s wealthiest banking families and her father, David Kemper, is the chairman of Commerce Bank

The annual Veiled Prophet Ball is still held every year, with the winner being crowned by a 'Veiled Prophet' (pictured left) - a member of the organization who covers their faces with a white veil to keep their identities secret

The annual Veiled Prophet Ball is still held every year, with the winner being crowned by a ‘Veiled Prophet’ (pictured left) – a member of the organization who covers their faces with a white veil to keep their identities secret

Kemper, whose real name is Elizabeth, was a 19-year-old student at Princeton University when she was crowned Queen of Love and Beauty in 1999.

The actress, who starred in The Office and Bridesmaids, was the organization’s 105th winner.

She comes from one of Missouri’s wealthiest banking families and her father, David Kemper, is the chairman of Commerce Bank.

Twitter erupted after the re-emerged image of Kemper went viral when some labeled her a racist, white supremacist and a “KKK queen.”

They made comparisons to her role in Kimmy Schmidt, where she plays a young woman who escapes an Indiana cult and starts her life in New York City over again.

However, others argued that Kemper had no known history of being racist.

Those with knowledge of the Veiled Prophet argued that comparing Kemper to a white supremacist just because she had been crowned queen was going too far.

Kemper has not spoken publicly about her involvement with the Veiled Prophet Organization since the weekend went viral.

The organization still holds the ball and parade every year, but the latter has been renamed the “America’s Birthday Parade.”

“Many things have changed since 1878, but the Veiled Prophet Organization will always continue to give its greatest gift to the community: a spectacular parade that has become one of St. Louis’s most enduring family traditions,” the website reads.

Twitter erupted after the re-emerged image of Kemper went viral when some labeled her a racist, white supremacist and a 'KKK queen'

Twitter erupted after the re-emerged image of Kemper went viral when some labeled her a racist, white supremacist and a ‘KKK queen’

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