Tituss Burgess, the actor who starred alongside Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, has weighed in on the controversy surrounding his former co-star’s ties with a debutante ball that has a history of racism.
Yesterday, Ellie Kemper took to Instagram to apologise for her participation in the 1999 Veiled Prophet Ball, which she described as a “debutante ball [that] had an unquestionably racist, sexist, and elitist past.”
Tituss Burgess reshared Kemper’s apology post on Instagram and expressed his support for her, writing: “I love my Ellie [heart emoji]. Oh, & P.S. Next time, just ask me, I’ll tell ya what to do [smiling face with three hearts emoji].”
Ellie replied in the comments, “I love you Tituss,” adding three heart emojis.
Have a read of the full statement by Ellie Kemper below:
The century-old organisation 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.
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 or a system that has dispensed unequal justice and unequal rewards. There is a very natural temptation when you come the subject of internet criticism, to tell yourself that your detractors are getting it all wrong. But at some point last week, I realised that a lot of the forces behind the criticism are forces that I’ve sent my life supporting and agreeing with.
I believe strongly in the values of kindness, integrity, and inclusiveness. I try to live my life in accordance with these value. If my experience is an indication that organisations and institutions with pasts that fall short of these believes should be held to account, then I have to see this experience in a positive light.
I want to apologise 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.
Thanks for reading this.
Have a peek at the Instagram post Ellie Kemper shared here: