The Veiled Prophet Organization has spoken out after Ellie Kemper apologized for participating in the organization’s debutante ball.

In 1999, Kemper was crowned the Queen of Love and Beauty at a ball held by the organization, which barred Black members for over a decade, inducting their first Black member in 1979.

Additionally, the St. Louis-based organization has been criticized for its initial imagery of a “Veiled Prophet,” which is similar in appearance to a Klansman. However, Rolling Stone noted that the ball predates the Ku Klux Klan by several decades.

Photos of Kemper, now 41, participating in the ball recently resurfaced, causing a stir on social media, and after the actress’ public apology, Veiled Prophet has offered a new statement to Fox News.

“Upon reflection, the Veiled Prophet Organization acknowledges our past and recognizes the criticism levied our way. We sincerely apologize for the actions and images from our history,” they said via email on Monday. “Additionally, our lack of cultural awareness was and is wrong. We are committed to change, allowing our actions to match the organization we are today.”

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