Shay Mitchell was blasted for seemingly denying Filipino heritage in recent interview

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Published Jun 24, 2024 at 01:25 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

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Shay Mitchell has recently found herself at the centre of a social media storm, particularly among Filipino internet users, after a video clip where the actor is discussing her heritage on her new show  Thirst went viral. The clip, now widely circulated on TikTok shows Mitchell stating “My dad’s Irish, my mom’s Spanish,” which ignited a flurry of online reactions. The Pretty Little Liars star might be spinning a new mystery, as her comment deceived many fans.

The comment section was quickly filled with netizens disputing Mitchell’s claims. One user pointed out, “Shay Mitchell is the daughter of Precious Garcia and Mark Mitchell. Her father is of Scottish and Irish descent. Her mother is from the province of Pampanga in the Philippines.”

Further complicating the matter, renowned Filipino singer and actress Lea Salonga has previously mentioned in interviews that she is Mitchell’s aunt, noting that the actor’s mother is her cousin. This familial connection has further fueled the debate over Mitchell’s recent comments.

Nonetheless, the controversy has led many to question whether the entrepreneur is once again shying away from her Filipino roots. In a 2016 interview for Self magazine, Mitchell admitted that she had previously concealed her Filipino heritage due to insecurities about her tan skin. Indeed, the actor went on to reveal that during her teenage years, she was bullied and mocked by classmates for her appearance, which led her to hide her true origins: “I didn’t want to look like myself.” In the interview, Mitchell reflected on her teenage years, recalling how she wished for blonde hair and lighter skin.

However, further into the discussion, Mitchell claimed that she has tried harder to embrace her heritage confidently: “Why am I trying to change myself? I should be proud of who I am and my heritage.” Despite these declarations, a significant portion of her Filipino fanbase remains sceptical, suggesting that her statements are more about public image than genuine pride.

One user stated: “A few years ago, didn’t Shay Mitchell accept being one of the voice actors for Trese because she wanted to connect more with her Filipino roots and whatever else she said.”

Another one added: “Who’s Shay Mitchell? Spain can have her. Please. Take her. For her to deny her connected Filipino ancestry of Lea Salonga? That’s vile. Shay is lucky she is but a mere relations footnote to Salonga’s life; of which Shay can never achieve such artistry. But yeah. Spain, take her.”

As of now, Mitchell has not issued any statement addressing the backlash. The silence has only amplified the controversy, leaving many to wonder about her true stance on her heritage.

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