Most of us are familiar with actress Milana Vayntrub as the peppy AT&T employee Lily from the company’s mobile commercials, in which she has appeared on and off since 2013.
Given her wholesome image, one might be surprised to learn that Vayntrub experiences a disgusting amount of abuse, objectification, and sexual harassment online.
After a recent AT&T Instagram commercial went viral, however, the 33-year-old was forced to address the issue with her fans.
The issue was initially flagged by Twitter user @megatronraid, who screenshot the ad alongside several of the offending remarks—mostly referring to Vayntrub’s breasts as “milkers.”
AT&T responded to several commenters, informing them that sexual harassment and “overshares” were not welcome on their social media channels. (The company eventually turned off comments on the post, which has been viewed over one million times.)
“Instagram is like a foreign country,” wrote @megatronraid.
Instagram is like a foreign country pic.twitter.com/38JJ5GqxOr
— Luff(ε) (@megatronraid) August 22, 2020
The tweet received tens of thousands of likes and retweets, and Vayntrub also addressed the comments in an Instagram Live post. Others reposted her pleas on Twitter, expressing sympathy for the actress.
SHE KNOWS pic.twitter.com/OEOBs7qOTs
— Foreskin King (@FootFetishNigga) August 23, 2020
“Maybe this just has to be with being a person on the internet or maybe it’s specific to being a woman. But it’s because of your tits,” she says in one of the clips. “And so, listen, that’s why I’m here. All of these ‘milk’ and ‘milkies’ comments and ‘milk wagons’ and all of that, it hurts my feelings.”
“Let me tell you, I am not consenting to any of this, I do not want any of this,” she says in another clip, adding that “super cleavagey” photos being circulated of her were taken at a pool party from over a decade ago when she was in college.
As the clips went viral on Twitter, others joined in to express dismay over the gross and abusive behavior.
no but imagine none of this wouldve happened if yall just let women exist in peace and left us the hell alone https://t.co/Y7sl6g4f13
— folake aina (@f0lake) August 24, 2020
Milana Vayntrub’s existence as a beautiful woman does not warrant any objectification from disgusting, relentless men. It does not matter that she’s on the Internet or that she’s an actress. Women do not exist for the male gaze. Women do not exist to be gawked at. https://t.co/Wgx3y8k0Xk
— Thythy (tee tee) (@thythymusic) August 24, 2020
This shit is why I get so annoyed at the “coomer commie” memes and constantly upholding sexualizing folks (mainly femmes let’s be real) as some weird new form of acceptable progressivism. Being openly horny for strangers isn’t funny, cute, progressive, or acceptable. https://t.co/p3ZB44kZnI
— 😷 quarantined vermin 😷 (@verminsqueals) August 24, 2020
Fucking dehumanizing. Tired of cishet man entitlement. https://t.co/yAz5L0ODvy
— isa (COMMISSIONS CLOSED) (@isa_thesmall) August 24, 2020
In a statement to Insider, AT&T said in no uncertain terms that the company will not tolerate the inappropriate comments and harassment of Vayntrub.
“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.”
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