Ted Cruz’s campaign team have taken down an advert targeting his Republican rival Marco Rubio after being told it features an adult film actress.
Amy Lindsay, who has also appeared in a range of films and mainstream television series including Star Trek: Voyager, said she was “extremely disappointed” by the decision.
She was among the actors hired to appear in a mock “Conservatives Anonymous” support group for Rubio voters, telling a man: “Maybe you should vote for more than just a pretty face next time.”
The Daily Caller reported that the advert was removed from YouTube shortly after it put in an inquiry with Mr Cruz’s aides after spotting Ms Lindsay’s appearance on Thursday.
Her IMDB page lists numerous titles dating back to 1994 including Deviant Whores, Kinky Sex Club, Exposed and Milf, as well as appearances in Star Trek: Voyager and The Portrait of a Lady, a 1996 adaptation starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich.
A spokesperson for Cruz for President said: “The actress responded to an open casting call. She passed her audition and got the job.
“Unfortunately, she was not vetted by the casting company. Had the campaign known of her full filmography, we obviously would not have let her appear in the ad.
“The campaign is taking the ad down and will replace it with a different commercial.”
“Life, marriage, and family are the fundamental building blocks of society,” his website says, detailing his fervent Christianity and opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.
The porn industry is not mentioned but the ultra-conservative politician’s aversion to being associated with an adult actress with credits including Sin City Diaries and Animal Lust can be imagined.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Ms Lindsay described herself as a Christian conservative and a Republican.
She said she thought it was a positive move for Mr Cruz’s campign to feature a “cool kind of open-minded woman” rather than “some old, white Christian bigot”.
“I assumed that they knew (about my career),” she added, saying she is currently deciding whether to support Mr Cruz or Mr Trump.
The advert’s removal has sparked intense debate on Twitter, with some conservatives criticising Mr Cruz for hiring a “porn star” and calling her appearance “totally disgusting”.
Opponents criticised the decision as “immature and stupid”, comparing it to other decisions and ethical standpoints.
Meanwhile, Ms Lindsay was being flooded with support from people saying she had been badly treated.
Star Trek fans running the Trek Initiative account had the final say, writing: “Ted Cruz is embarrassed by this ad featuring The Doctor's wife, Lana from Voyager's finale. We can't imagine why."
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