After taking a multi-year hiatus from portraying spokeswoman "Lily Adams" in a series of AT&T ads that ran from 2013 through 2016, actress Milana Vayntrub returned to the role for a series of new commercials earlier this year. The new ads have led to a wave of reignited attention on Vayntrub as Lily, but an unfortunate side effect of that attention has been a large number of sexually motivated messages and comments being sent to both the actress and AT&T itself, resulting in noteworthy reactions from both entities.
In the first place, AT&T had to completely turn off comments on a recent post featuring Milana Vayntrub's Lily after certain Instagram users plagued the section with "milker" remarks directed at the actress' breasts. Those comments were seemingly sparked by other recent social media posts focusing on images where Vayntrub is showing cleavage. And some of those posts were possibly inspired by Vayntrub herself recently sharing a Family Guy clip in which Peter asks Lois about the name of "the actress who plays the AT&T chick."
In the midst of all the salacious awareness, Milana Vayntrub took to Instagram Live to address the bothersome situation and the multitude of rude comments, saying:
Let me tell you, I am not consenting to any of this. I do not want any of this. The photos that have come out of me that are super-cleavage-y are from a pool party I went to in college over a decade ago. So yeah, all of the ‘milkies,’ and all of these… I mean, reporting them all – honestly, it’s like there are so many more of them than I have time to report.
To make matters worse, Vayntrub's Instagram Live post was itself targeted by the same kind of horny trolls. So while the actress was at first reading along and replying to some fans' questions, she was also having to skim through more pervy comments and requests. The emotions took over as she admitted the pervasiveness has brought up feelings of sexual assault. In her words:
I hope you’re right, but in the meantime, I’m hurting. And it’s bringing up a lot of feelings of sexual assault, and I am just, you know, walking my dog and getting message from people who have distorted my pictures to get likes on their accounts.
Soon after, Milana Vayntrub grew tired of seeing those comments and ended her video session. Since then, she's been actively promoting a conversation she'll be conducting on IG with activist and author Ted Bunch, who works with the violence prevention organization A Call To Men. Taking place on Wednesday, August 26, that discussion will center on "healthy manhood, gender equity and racial justice."
AT&T responded to the situation with a statement of support for Milana Vayntrub, saying:
We will not tolerate the inappropriate comments and harassment of Milana Vayntrub, the talented actor that portrays Lily in our ads. We have disabled or deleted these comments on our social content that includes Lily and we will continue to fight to support her and our values, which appreciate and respect all women.
Here's hoping Milana Vayntrub finds a way to outlast the sexually harassing commenters and their single-minded thoughts. For those who would like to catch the actress in projects outside of AT&T, definitely check out her work in Paul Feig's sci-fi comedy Other Space, which is currently available to stream via Dust, as well as her vocal talents in the John Cena-starring Dallas & Robo, which recently started its linear TV run on Syfy, and as Marvel's Squirrel Girl in multiple Marvel Rising shorts. Having recurred on This Is Us during its first season, Vayntrub can also be found in Kevin Hart's Quibi series Die Hart and in the upcoming video game feature adaptation Werewolves Within.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more about Milana Vayntrub's situation as it becomes available. In the meantime, head to our Fall 2020 TV schedule.