Famous friends back Ellie Kemper following race row drama

·2-min read

Actress Ellie Kemper's celebrity friends have jumped to her defence after she apologised for taking part in a debutante ball with a racist past while still a teenager.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star, 41, was targeted online last week when it was discovered she was crowned the Queen of Love and Beauty at the Veiled Prophet Ball in 1999, which was founded by wealthy white elites with links to the Confederacy in 1878.

Addressing the controversy on social media on Monday, she insisted she had no idea about the event's links to racist and sexist groups at the time, stating: "The century-old organization that hosted the debutante ball had an unquestionably racist, sexist, and elitist past. I was not aware of this history at the time, but ignorance is no excuse. I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved."

She went on to apologise to "the people I've disappointed", adding: "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."

Her sincere apology impressed her African-American Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt co-star Tituss Burgess, who took to social media on Tuesday and wrote: "I love my Ellie... Oh, & P.S. Next time, just ask me, I'll tell ya what to do."

She also received support from her The Office castmates Mindy Kaling and Angela Kinsey, while Alec Baldwin wrote: "You are understood and loved."

Yvette Nicole Brown added: "Thank you for taking the time to apologize, Ellie. And for realizing that though you didn't know about the white supremacy origins of the organization, fans of yours - who are still affected by the myth of white supremacy to this day - needed to hear that you realize it was hurtful for us to learn about it all and that you are sorry that you took part."

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