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Original article URL: http://bridgemi.com/2012/02/ah-so-second-thoughts-for-hoekstras-star/

Public sector

Ah, so! Second thoughts for Hoekstra’s star?

Before the furor over Pete Hoekstra’s “Debbie Spenditnow” ad dies down — the usual suspects having read their lines and otherwise played the parts they were assigned earlier in the week — take a moment to read this, a briefing on the Chinese-American actress whose role was right out of Central Casting, c. 1932.

An Asian blogger identifies her as Lisa Chan, 21, from the Bay Area, a former Miss Napa Valley with a sociology degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a history of work with a social-justice nonprofit she founded called The Strive.

In other words, not exactly a stereotypical Republican primary voter. The blogger hints she “feels terrible” about her decision to take the part, and that she may be preparing a statement. Which would mean she didn’t sign a confidentiality agreement? Now that’s a backstage story that might be worth telling.

3 comments from Bridge readers.Add mine!

  1. Alan Stamm

    Like the ‘Angry Asian Man’ blogger you link to, I also am genuinely interested in hearing Lisa Chan’s perspective, based on what she feels now about a role she may regret having accepted. It’s heartening to see a majority of the 35 responses on the blogger’s Facebook page don’t vilify her.

    Actors aren’t alone in sometimes making tough calls that put conscience and cash in conflict, and the full impact of the choice isn’t always clear at the point of decision.

    It’s not a stretch to imagine that Lisa Clark was chosen after an audition where she hadn’t seen the full script. While her bicycling ability must have been established, she almost certainly didn’t know about the “coolie hat” until arriving at the set and surely didn’t hear the post-production gong and cliched music until . . . well, maybe until it aired?

    In a FB comment on ‘Angry Asian Man’s’ wall, Victor Ramos says: “Her side? It was a gig, so she took it. I am sure an actor tasked with playing Adolf Hitler may detest what Hitler represents, but it’s a job.”

    That oversimplifies the difference between a political and a dramatic role, as well as this actress’ self-identity dilemma (would a Jewish actor play Hitler?), it’s a point to consider as we wait to hear what the performer herself says when she and “a community organization . .. release a statement with her version of the story.”

    1. Mike Johnson

      I think you are giving Ms. Chan much too much credit…. Take a look at her history. Miss Napa Valley? She declared herself the title nominee to run for Miss California. “The Strive” was originally established to pad her resume to get into Stanford/Cal. She self promotes her non-profit as a way to promote herself into a better career.

      Did she takes this role as a “China Woman” without knowing the consequences? Come on, she is a Cal Grad! She should have understood what the ad meant. She surely didn’t do it just for the money. That would have compromised her principles that she pushes for “The Strive”. Or did she do it to add to her actor resume?

      Even her apology was self promoting… She is a victim…. Not really. She knows the system and how to play the system. Is she sorry? You bet! Not because of what she did, but because it reduces her future options.

  2. Dave Friedrichs

    Thank you for this information. I’m not sure I would otherwise have learned “the rest of the story”, as Paul Harvey made my generation fond of listening for. Often clarifications go unheard or published only in fine print on an interior page. Perhaps if Mr Hoekstra gets the nomination, Ms Stabenow will air a second more candid commentary from Ms Chan.

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