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Southeast Asia, explained

Actress speaking broken English in Senate ad identified

Meet Lisa Chan, a 21-year-old UC Berkeley grad and aspiring model/actress
Hoekstra china ad actress 2012 02 08Enlarge
The actress in U.S. Senate hopeful Pete Hoekstra's controversial ad: an Asian-American depicting a Chinese woman pleased with America's debt to China. (Screengrab)

The U.S. actress feigning bad English in portraying a Chinese villager -- one ecstatic over America's decline  -- has been reportedly identified as a 21-year-old Californian named Lisa Chan.

The "Angry Asian Man" blog, claiming to have discovered Chan through a mutual friend, describes her as a Univeristy of California - Berkeley grad, a part-time actress/model and a beauty pageant contestant. Many had speculated over her identity after she appeared in this Michigan Senate race attack ad for candidate Pete Hoekstra.

Why does the world care about Lisa Chan?

Perhaps we want to know what could compel an Asian American to adopt a bad villager accent (but not convincingly bad enough, I argued in my previous post) and personify a Chinese person gleeful over American debt.

Sample dialogue: "You borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs."

Chan's dabbling in beauty contestants and political ads reveal an appetite for the spotlight.

But, if the "Angry Asian Man" blog is to be believed, she's now hustling to rehabilitate her image.

Chan, the blog says, is "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."

Here's Chan in a beauty pageant promo shot:

And here's a shot of Chan taken from the Web site of her non-profit, Strive, devoted to "empowering at-risk youth":

http://www.globalpost.com/globalpost-blogs/southeast-asia/hoekstra_ad_chinese_actress/lisa-chan-china-ad

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