THE Veiled Prophet Ball is an annual ball that has been held every December in St Louis, Missouri since the 1800s.
Ellie Kemper has been trending on Twitter after fans discovered an old picture of the actress at the elitist ball with a "racist" history.
What is the Veiled Prophet Ball?
According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, the Veiled Prophet Ball was formed in 1878 by Confederate Colonel Alonzo Slayback and his brother Charles Slayback.
They held an elaborate festivals and rituals for an exclusive group of people invited.
It featured one unknown member each year who was secretly dressed as the "veiled prophet," which was meant to generate interest in the event and St Louis as a city.
The now renamed event is still held on the Friday before Christmas each year and is attended by thousands.
The event has given the platform for protest groups such as Black Lives Matter Members, and St. Louis based group Missourians Organized for Reform and Empowerment in more recent years.
What is the photo of Ellie Kemper as a Veiled Prophet Queen?
Ellie Kemper is being scrutinized after a young photo surfaced of the actress attending the Veiled Prophet Ball.
Attending the event as a 19-year-old in St Louis in 1999, the actress was specifically named queen – a role chosen by the 'veiled prophet' that historically leads the gathering.
In the photo, Kemper can be seen dressed in all white, smiling and chatting to a pair of young girls referred to as her "pages" in the photo caption.
On May 31, 2021 a debate ensued online as some Twitter users deemed her participation at the "racist ball" as an acceptance of it's ideals which they believe mirror aspects of the KKK.
Twitter users familiar with the Prophet organization made the link via the wealthy Catholic elites in St. Louis, Missouri who attempted to silence railroad workers at its inception.
According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, the debutante ball was founded by wealthy White elites back in 1878 and “emphasized the existing power structure.”
The ball has run in the region since 1878, but excluded any black members from joining until 1979 due to racial segregation.
The event was therefore considered ‘white only’ for more than 100 years.
In addition, much of their early attire in the 1880s also bears a striking resemblance to members of the Ku Klux Klan, though it has been pointed out that KKK members did not begin wearing white hoods and robes until 1915.
What has Ellie Kemper said about the backlash?
Ellie Kemper has not yet publicly reacted to the comments made online.
She has also never given her views on the Veiled Prophet Ball that she attended when she was younger.
There is no suggestion of any connection between Kemper and the KKK or any other similar group.
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