In November 2021, an online ad claimed that actor Milana Vayntrub, who plays Lily Adams in television ads for AT&T, “had stopped doing commercials.” Several unfounded rumors in Google search results and elsewhere had also claimed that Vayntrub had been “fired” or had a “meltdown” or “bad luck”. All these claims are made with no data or sources to back them up.
In this case, the full ad text read: “She no longer does commercials, what she does is better.”
However, this was nothing but clickbait. We clicked on the ad. It led to a long article about a slideshow on definition.org that required a seemingly endless number of clicks on “Next Page”.
On the first page of the story, it showed Vayntrub in character with a “Lily” name badge for one of the earlier AT&T ads:
Love them or hate them, commercials are part of our entertainment experience. As much as we’d love to hit that skip button, we can’t help but recognize the same faces over and over. Some of the characters in these ads are so funny and memorable that they become stars. How are the stars of your favorite commercials doing?
Later in the article, the page said nothing for her about the actor “not doing commercials anymore”.
Vayntrub’s page listed an alleged net worth of $3 million. It also had only one sentence: “Milana Vayntrub has been on many popular television shows over the years, with hits like ‘ER’, the soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives’ and ‘Lizzie McGuire’.”
Not only was the clickbait ad fake, but the creator appeared to have enlarged Vayntrub’s chest and even altered her face from the original photo. Vayntrub has dealt with this type of online harassment before, according to an August 2020 report from Insider.com.
In March 2021, The Independent also published that Vayntrub had tweeted on why she chose to position her body in a specific way in a new AT&T commercial:
Get a lot of “why do they put her body like that in those ads?” Well, I direct the ads. I position myself like this. And that’s because of the thousands of unwanted comments I get about my body. You have lost the privilege of looking at it until I feel safe again.
— Milana Vayntrub (@MintMilana) March 21, 2021
As she tweeted, it’s true that Vayntrub had redoubled her role as Lily and also directed the AT&T ads herself.
As for Vayntrub and AT&T, new commercials featuring her character Lily continued to air in October and November 2021. Further, there is no indication from entertainment blogs that she had moved on or pursued other acting opportunities. It was nothing but misleading clickbait from the online advertiser.
“Actress Milana Vayntrub reacts to online body shaming.” the independent, April 6, 2021, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/att-milana-vayntrub-ncaa-tournament-commercial-b1822197.html.
Harris, Margot. “The actress who plays AT&T’s Lily faces waves of online sexual harassment, including manipulated images and objectifying memes.” Insider, https://www.insider.com/att-lily-actress-milana-vayntrub-commercial-harassment-online-comments-instagram-photos-2020.
“Lily from the AT&T Commercials also directs the ads.” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/articles/348677/lily-att-commercials-directs/.