Actress Milana Vayntrub, known for playing AT&T spokesperson Lily James in various advertisements, is pleading with trolls to leave her alone after enduring relentless sexual harassment online. In a video livestreamed on Instagram that has since been reposted on Twitter, Vayntrub spoke at length about the online harassment she receives from strangers on a daily basis. This includes people lewd comments and memes along with old photos of Vayntrub in a bikini, with some even going so far as to solicit nude photos from the television star.
“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 that I went to in college over a decade ago,” Vayntrub says in the video. “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.”
Crude comments about Vayntrub have also made their way into the comments sections of YouTube videos of AT&T commercials featuring the Lily character. To cut down on the harassment, the company has disabled comments on these videos, also speaking about their continued support for Vayntrub in a statement released to the media.
“We will not tolerate the inappropriate comments and harassment of Milana Vayntrub, the talented actor that portrays Lily in our ads,” the statement reads. “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.”
Vayntrub became famous portraying Lily Adams in a series of AT&T ads between 2013 and 2016, though she started playing the fictional saleswoman again this year. She also had a recurring role on the popular drama series This Is Us, and made appearances on other shows such as Key & Peele, House of Lies, and Silicon Valley. Vayntrub is also known for voicing Squirrel Girl in the Marvel Rising franchise and had a starring role in the unaired pilot for New Warriors. More recently, she appeared in Kevin Hart’s Quibi series Die Hart and will be featured in the upcoming horror comedy movie Werewolves Within.
There’s no denying that the internet can sometimes be a very vile place, and keeping control of every troll in the world just isn’t possible. Hopefully, Vayntrub’s pleas will still help cut down on some of the trolling, which all of us should be able to agree is very undeserved. You can take a look at AT&T’s “Lily” speaking about her online harassment in the video below, which was originally streamed by Milana Vayntrub on Instagram. Details of this story come to us from Deadline.