Photo: John Nacion / STAR MAX / IPx 2019 02/17/19 Ellie Kemper at the Writers Guild Awards in New York … [+]
John Nacion / STAR MAX / IPx
It is likely that few outside of St. Louis, Missouri, had ever heard of the Veiled Prophet’s Ball by this weekend. Yet the Debutante Ball and the organization that hosts it have been in the spotlight on social media after reports that The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s actress Ellie Kemper was named Queen of Love and Beauty in 1999 at the age of 19 -Year old.
According to The Atlantic, the ball began as a white-only event hosted by the Veiled Prophet Organization, which “emphasized the existing power structure.” When it began in St. Louis in 1878, black and Jewish Americans were banned. The organization was reportedly founded by former Confederation supporters.
A very rich and famous affair
However, Kemper, who hails from a wealthy Midwestern family, isn’t the first high-profile person to attend the ball, a fact that largely doesn’t get around on social media. In fact, Margaret Truman, the daughter of former President Harry S. Truman, who is of Missouri, had previously been a guest of the Veiled Prophets, as had former President Grover Cleveland and his wife.
Although the club has remained quite exclusive, the VPO actually broke up in 1979, a year before Kemper was born, and when she became VP Queen in 1999, the group tried to break away from its bigoted origins. However, the mere fact that she had taken part had earned Ms. Kemper the nickname “KKK Princess” on social media.
Some Social Target users have targeted the group and their past rather than focusing on the actress. CNN commentator and New York Times bestselling author Keith Boykin (@Keithboykin) wrote on Twitter: “I don’t know much about Ellie Kemper, but I remember very well growing up in St. Louis in the 1970s and 1980s The Veiled Prophet Fair Fair I was always told it was only for whites. Racial segregation was so normalized that people were only expected to know their place. “
However, many were quick to defend the actress, who was still a teenager when she was called “Queen”.
“There isn’t a single iota of evidence that Ellie Kemper is racist. Of course, she’s trending on Twitter and blue checks call her a ‘KKK princess’. What utter rubbish, “wrote Fox News’ Ben Shaprio.
Let the ridicule begin
By Tuesday afternoon, a number of memes were circulating that hit the feeling for many.
Still others just made fun of the situation and the nonsense that something so old would naturally come back up for the world to see.
“Ellie Kemper was on a TV show called ‘The Office’ and do you know who else had an office? Hitler “, wrote user @murderxbryan.
@engargins added another false connection: “And she plays ‘Kimmy Schmidt’. ‘Schmidt’ definitely sounds like a German name to me! …”
“And came from … a bunker! The connections are endless, ”piling up @LawyerSimple.
It was good to see some openly ridiculing this nonsense for what it was, but the fact that something that was once considered harmless has been demonized in this way shows the state of the abandon culture, but also how social media is in are able to fear almost anything. If skeletons are in the closet, they will likely find their way onto social media – just so that the world becomes a court of public opinion.
“Is a ball participation of some actresses from 1999 really the most pressing issue in 2021”, thought technology and communication analyst Roger Entner from Recon Analytics.
“Well, it just shows you that at no point does the internet forget what someone has done, no matter how irrelevant,” added Entner.