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 from the AT&T commercials, 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."

August 2020 was a dark month for Milana Vayntrub

Harassment has been part of Vayntrub's experience in Hollywood throughout her career, but August 2020 was a particularly brutal time. People searched through older ads of Vayntrub's and began leaving numerous degrading messages on official AT&T accounts. The company attempted to stanch the flood of comments by responding at first, leaving their own responses that "sexual harassment of employees in the workplace or [their] social channels" is not allowed and telling those who left especially uncomfortable and inappropriate comments that "overshares aren't welcome" (via Insider).

The company even issued their own statement in Vayntrub's defense, noting that they had to resort to shutting down comments completely on many of the videos that feature Lily. "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).

Milana Vayntrub tried to respond to the harassment and to stop it

Even worse, this is hardly the first time Milana Vayntrub has faced a barrage of harassment and sexist commentary about her body. Vayntrub ended up taking 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."

Fans of Vayntrub's took to social media to share their own reactions to the numerous comments that have been made about her figure. One person, identified as Lu, told Insider that many of the faceless commenters were hiding behind their screens. "The kind of things you'd see on AT&T's post is at such a direct contrast with the behaviors of people you'd talk to on a daily basis."

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 s*** 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.