The young woman who starred in a much-maligned Senate campaign ad targeting Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and released by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) has reportedly been identified as Lisa Chan, a 21-year-old California native.
The blog Angry Asian Man, which first reported the details, reports that Chan is a part-time actress and model -- a beauty pageant contestant and winner, in fact -- UC Berkeley graduate, founder of a non-profit for under-served youth, and now star of the most controversial ad so far of the 2012 election cycle.
The ad, which aired in Michigan on Super Bowl Sunday and was removed from circulation later in the week, shows a woman, reportedly played by Chan, bicycling through a landscape of rice paddies dressed in khakis and a yellow shirt -- apparently the reason for an unfortunate typo that labeled her as "yellowgirl" in an html code.
As she approaches the camera, the actress thanks "Michigan Senator Debbie Spend-it-Now" for supposedly spending too much money, in turn helping the Chinese economy.
"Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good," she says in broken and stereotypically accented English.
Chan hasn't commented on her reported role in the ad, but she has apparently been affected by the backlash. From the Angry Asian Man blog:
From what I understand, 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.
The original ad is below: