Actress and comedian Milana Vayntrub, who starred in Yahoo’s sadly short-lived Other Space and voices Squirrel Girl (sorry, Anna Kendrick) for the Marvel Rising franchise, is best known to millions as Lily, the so-called AT&T girl. Lily made her first enthusiastic appearance in 2013, and Vayntrub reprised the role earlier this year in a series of COVID-themed commercials. The popular character’s resurgence has led to the actress being sexually harassed online, as she explained in a recent Instagram livestream.
“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,” Vayntrub said. “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.” She added that the comments about her body, in particular the references to one gross meme, are “dehumanizing, a little objectifying, and sad. It makes me sad. I know what you guys are trying to do is be funny, and connect to each other and get props from your friends, but it bums me out.”
AT&T has been deleting inappropriate comments on videos featuring Lily (she’s appeared in over 40 spots), “and we will continue to fight to support her and our values, which appreciate and respect all women,” the company said in a statement.