Bisexual YouTuber Lilly Singh stars alongside astronaut Nicole Stott in feminist Super Bowl ad
The bisexual YouTuber and late-night talkshow host Lilly Singh is set to star as an astronaut in a feminist Super Bowl advert for the cosmetic brand Olay this weekend.
The US broadcast of the Super Bowl is the most watched TV event of the year, and the big-budget advertising slots throughout the game are known as “the Oscars of commercials”.
According to Adweek, women only appear in a lead role in 27 percent of Super Bowl ads, despite making up almost half of the expected viewership. Olay is bucking this trend with a prominent female-centric advert inspired by the first all-woman space walk last year.
Singh, who hosts A Little Late with Lilly Singh on NBC, will appear alongside journalist Katie Couric, retired astronaut Nicole Stott and actress Busy Phillips, as actress Taraji P. Henson runs mission control.
An early teaser for the ad shows the three astronauts striding towards an Olay space shuttle, as Phillips asks “Who has the keys?” Singh replies: “I don’t know, I thought you did!”
The ad is promoting Olay’s #MakeSpaceForWomen campaign to help get more girls into STEM subjects to enable the next generation of female scientists, engineers, programmers and space explorers.
Olay will donate $1 every time someone tweets the hashtag to Girls Who Code, an organisation that helps women in computer science (up to $500,000).
Olay is owned by the corporation Procter & Gamble, which has a long history of LGBT-positive ads.
In 2013 the company joined a coalition of businesses backing a bipartisan effort of end workplace discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity.
And last year it removed the Venus female symbol () from its packaging of sanitary towels to be more inclusive of trans and non-binary people who have periods.
The company boldly reaffirmed its commitment to “diversity and inclusion” in the face of wild claims from anti-trans critics who said it was “erasing women” and “moving towards the total elimination of women’s biology.”