Veiled Prophet Organization issues apology after Ellie Kemper calls it ‘unquestionably racist’

Entertainment

ST. LOUIS (NewsNation Now) — The Veiled Prophet Organization apologized for its controversial past after actress Ellie Kemper called the group “unquestionably racist” in an Instagram post.

The group’s apology comes after Kemper was caught in a Twitter firestorm over her ties to the organization.

The statement from Veiled Prophet (VP) Organization acknowledges its past and recognizes the criticism levied its way.

“We sincerely apologize for the actions and images from our history,” the statement said. “Additionally, our lack of cultural awareness was and is wrong. We are committed to change, allowing our actions to match the organization we are today.

The Veiled Prophet Organization faced heightened scrutiny after Kemper’s fans found a 2014 article in The Atlantic on the group. They then learned that Kemper was the queen of the VP Ball in 1999. Fans quickly took to Twitter to comment.

December 23, 1999 – The new Queen of the court of Love and Beauty, Miss Elizabeth Claire Kemper speaks briefly with her two pages Katy Angevine, left, 8, and Jacqueline Probst, 7, before taking the stage to accept her crown from the veiled prophet. ( Elizabeth Claire Kemper, the 1999 Veiled Prophet Queen of Love and Beauty, speaks with pages Katy Angevine (left), 8, and Jacqueline Probst, 7, before going on stage Thursday night to accept her crown. ) (Jamie Rector/St. Louis Post Dispatch/Polaris) ///

Kemper posted an apology to Instagram Monday, saying she was not aware of the group’s history at the time, but ignorance is no excuse.

“I want to apologize to the people I’ve disappointed, and I promise that moving forward I will listen, continue to educate myself and use my privilege in support of the better society I think we’re capable of becoming,” Kemper said.

Here is the full statement from the Veiled Prophet Organization, obtained by NewsNation affiliate KTVI:

Upon reflection, the Veiled Prophet Organization acknowledges our past and recognizes the criticism levied our way. We sincerely apologize for the actions and images from our history. Additionally, our lack of cultural awareness was and is wrong. We are committed to change, allowing our actions to match the organization we are today.

The VP Organization of today categorically rejects racism, in any form. Today’s VP is committed to diversity and equity in our membership, community service initiatives and support for the region. Our hope is that moving forward, the community sees us for who we are today and together we can move this region forward for everyone.

We are, and always will be committed to the success of the region and making St Louis a better place to live for all.

VEILED PROPHETS ORGANIZATION

Back in 2019, The Post-Dispatch also wrote an article titled “Veiled Prophet: Symbol of wealth, power, and to some, racism.” It reported the ball was met with protests in the 1970s and in recent years as well. It also had to move from a city-owned auditorium over allegations of racism. The organization didn’t include any black men until 1979.

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