Ellie Kemper is addressing her racial controversy after it was revealed she was once crowd queen of an alleged klan-connected ball.
Last week, the 41-year-old Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actress found herself in hot water after photos leaked showing her at the St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball, an organization that is allegedly associated with white supremacy.
Not only was she in attendance, but Kemper was crowned queen of the Veiled Prophet Ball in 1999.
The actress kept quiet for several days after the photos circulated but broke her silence on the white power controversy moments ago.
Taking to her social media on Monday, Kemper addressed her followers with a heartfelt message, claiming "ignorance is not an excuse."
"Hi guys, when I was 19 years old, I decided to participate in a debutante ball in my hometown," she began.
"The century-old organization that hosted the debutante ball had an unquestionably racist, sexist and elitist past. I was not aware of the history at the time, but ignorance is no excuse. I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved," Kemper continued.
Addressing her stance on racism, Kemper added, "I unequivocally deplore, denounce, and reject white supremacy. At the same time, I acknowledge that because of my race and my privilege, I am the beneficiary of a system that has dispensed unequal justice and unequal rewards."
She also addressed the backlash she received after the photos leaked.
"There is a very natural temptation when you become the subject of internet criticism, to tell yourself that your detractors are getting it all wrong. But at some point last week, I realized that a lot of the forces behind the criticism are forces that I've spent my life supporting and agreeing with," the actress wrote.
"I believe strongly in the values of kindness, integrity and inclusiveness. I try to live my life in accordance with these values. If my experience is an indication that organizations and institutions with pasts that fall short of these beliefs should be held to account, then I have to see this experience in a positive light."
She ended her apology by stating, "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."
Interestingly enough, the Veiled Prophet Organization denounced their organization has any racial ties, telling PEOPLE, "The VP organization is dedicated to civic progress, economic contributions and charitable causes in St. Louis," the statement began. "Our organization believes in and promotes inclusion, diversity and equality for this region. We absolutely reject racism and have never partnered or associated with any organization that harbors these beliefs."