Shay Mitchell says she's half Spanish, not Filipino

Canadian actress and entrepreneur Shay Mitchell is catching some heat over her response to a question about her ethnicity in a recent interview.

The "Pretty Little Liars" recently made the comments on her Max show "Thirst With Shay Mitchell."

"My dad's Irish. My mom's Spanish," she said.

The internet was quick to accuse Mitchell of lying, as fans of the star know her mother, Precious Garcia, is from Pampanga, Philippines, making her half-Filipino. 

Social media was even quicker to point out Mitchell's aunt is award-winning Filipino actress and singer Lea Salonga. 

"Girl your mom is from pampanga. no Spanish there but slay another vanessa hudgens," one person commented. 

"It's crazy because she got a job as a voice actress in a Filipino Netflix cartoon called ‘Trese’ because of her Filipino heritage… I guess she's only Filipino when it benefits her," another stated.


"When I grew up I found this to be very common, especially with Gen x/elder millennial. Filipinos I knew tended to downplay their ‘Asian’ side and claimed to be Spanish just because of their surnames. History would tell them they have next to zero Spanish blood and their last names were imposed on them for tax purposes. The post colonialism cultural shame is real," another said. 

In an interview with Pop Sugar in 2016, Mitchell admitted that she used to hide her Filipino heritage due to insecurities about appearing "too Filipina" with tan skin. Mitchell said she faced bullying from classmates but eventually became confident enough to embrace her roots and identity. 

"Why am I trying to change myself? I should be proud of who I am and what my heritage is," she told the publication.

Mitchell has not responded to the controversy.