Lily From AT&T Won't Show Her Full Body In Commercials Anymore. Here's Why

The actors and actresses who star in commercials have a funny way of making you feel like they're almost family, especially when the same person sticks with a brand for months or even years. For example, many of us who grew up in the 1990s and 2000s are fond of Paul Marcarelli, the actor who starred as the "Test Man," who asked, "Can you hear me now?" in Verizon commercials from 2002 to 2011 before defecting to Sprint in 2016 (via CNN).

Another familiar face from commercials these days is Lily, who is affectionately known as "The AT&T Girl." Lily is played by Milana Vayntrub, who also directs the commercials she stars in. In addition to her role as Lily, Vayntrub has a long list of acting credits that include roles on This Is Us, House of Lies, Californication, and Silicon Valley, and also starred in her own sci-fi comedy series called Other Space (via IMDb).

Vayntrub picked up the role as Lily back in 2013 (via NBC News). While she's been a familiar face for millions of families across the United States and the globe since then, it turns out that this fame has come at a hefty emotional price.

Lily from the AT&T commercials has dealt with a lot of harassment

Milana Vayntrub recently opened up in a major way about a sudden change that viewers will probably pick up on the next time they see her: Lily will no longer show her whole body. Many people were quick to note that most of Vayntrub's body is hidden behind a counter in AT&T's newest commercial, as opposed to previous commercials in which her entire body was visible throughout the commercial, and they wanted to know why. She opted to address the questions head-on via Twitter.

Yahoo! Life shares that on March 20, 2021, Vayntrub tweeted, "Been getting a lot of 'Why are they placing her body like that in those ads?' Well, I direct the ads. I place myself like that. And it's because of the thousands of unwelcome comments I receive about my body. You've lost the privilege of looking at it until I feel safe again."

Unfortunately, it seems that her explanation only spurred more harassment. Other people on Twitter came to Vayntrub's defense, with one sarcastically noting, "Really impressive how many dudes think they should respond to this by commenting on her body."

This isn't the first time Milana Vayntrub has experienced harassment

Even worse, this is hardly the first time Milana Vayntrub has faced a barrage of harassment and sexist commentary about her body. In 2020, Vayntrub took to Instagram to livestream about her experiences.

Uproxx reported that she shared that the comments she endures make her feel as if she's being sexually assaulted. "Maybe it just has to do with being a person on the internet, or maybe it's specific to being a woman on the internet. But all of these comments ... it hurts my feelings. I'm hurting and it's bringing up, like, a lot of feelings of sexual assault. I am just like, you know, walking my dog and getting messages from people who have distorted my pictures to get likes on their accounts."

AT&T has demonstrated their dedication to keeping Vayntrub's experience as free from harassment as possible, even going so far as to delete hurtful and damaging comments from her videos. The company even issued their own statement in Vayntrub's defense.

"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" (via PR Week).

Other celebrities are supporting Milana Vayntrub

Fortunately, other entertainers and celebrities have come out in support of Milana Vayntrub. Paul Feig, who is a frequent co-star and collaborator of Melissa McCarthy's, issued a vehement statement via Twitter back in August 2020.

"What is happening to @MintMilana on social media is an absolute disgrace. To all harassers, trolls, immature guys who hide behind a wall of anonymity to do and say things you'd never do or say in public and anyone who thinks this shit is "funny," it is vile and harmful. #enough" (via PR Week).

It also appears that Vayntrub's decision to stay seated behind a desk is here to stay, as AT&T's March 17 commercial features her in the same position. Hopefully, social media platforms will come up with a system that protects people from this kind of daily harassment, because as The Atlantic reports, there's often little a person in Vayntrub's position can do in terms of recourse.