In this 2017 file photo, Ellie Kemper arrives on the red carpet at the 69th Emmy Awards.

Old photos of actress Ellie Kemper, who rose to fame in roles in “The Office” and “Bridesmaids” before starring in the Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” resurfaced over Memorial Day weekend and ignited controversy for her involvement with a St. Louis organization that historically celebrated the wealthy white elite while excluding Black members.

Kemper acknowledged the controversy a week later, writing Monday in a lengthy Instagram statement of her involvement with a “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,” Kemper wrote. “I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved. … I want to apologize to the people I’ve disappointed, and I promise that moving forward I will listen, continue to educated myself, and use my privilege in support of the better society I think we’re capable of becoming.”

 

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