Actress Apologizes for Faking Broken English in Political Ad

Lisa Chan is actually Miss Napa Valley

Headshot of David Griner

Turns out Pete Hoekstra's controversial Super Bowl spot is even more bizarre than you thought. The Republican Senate candidate in Michigan was roundly criticized for showing an Asian woman speaking in stereotypical broken English to make the point that Sen. Debbie Stabenow's free-spending policies send U.S. jobs to China. (We listed the ad as one of the most controversial of the Super Bowl, despite only running in one state.) Now, it has emerged that the woman was faking the accent, too. She's an actress named Lisa Chan—a University of California-Berkeley grad and San Francisco native who recently competed as "Miss Napa Valley" in the Miss California USA beauty pageant. She has since apologized. "It was absolutely a mistake on my part and one that, over time, I hope can be forgiven," she wrote on Facebook, according to news reports. "I feel horrible about my participation, and I am determined to resolve my actions." After the initial outcry, Hoekstra defended the ad but eventually pulled both the spot and an associated website.

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@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."