By now, you've probably heard about or seen the controversial and racist Super Bowl ad by Michigan Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra. Well, it turns out that the woman featured in the ad is a UC Berkeley graduate. According to the blog Angry Asian Man, the actress is 21-year-old Bay Area native Lisa Chan, who "graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in sociology, founded a nonprofit organization for at-risk youth, and recently competed as the reigning Miss Napa Valley in the 2012 Miss California USA pageant."
The ad attacks Hoekstra's rival, incumbent Debbie Stabenow, and features an Asian woman (Chan) riding a bicycle through a rice field and thanking “Debbie Spend-It-Now” in broken English for shipping US jobs to China:
“Debbie spend so much American money, you borrow more and more from us. You’re economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs. Thank you Debbie ‘Spend It Now.’”
Following an uproar over the ad, Hoekstra took it down and directed people to the web page DebbieSpendItNow.com, which, according to New York Magazine, featured Stabenow’s face on an Asian fan and stereotypical Asian music and gongs (which has since been taken down).
Clearly, Hoekstra doesn't get it. But Chan sounds, at least on paper, like a smart young woman with good intentions. So what happened?
According to Angry Asian Man blogger Phil Yu, Chan "feels terrible" about the ad. "She's now proactively trying to address and undo her role in the racist messaging of Hoekstra's campaign, and has partnered with a community organization to release a statement with her version of the story."