It’s been a whirlwind week for Lilly Singh as she joined Katie Couric, Taraji P. Henson and more powerful women for Olay North America’s latest Super Bowl ad.
The commercial, which was inspired by the first-ever all-female spacewalk back in October 2019, features Singh preparing to take off in an Olay-branded space shuttle with Busy Philipps and astronaut Nicole Stott as Henson oversees Mission Control and Couric shares the news on-air.
The goal of the out-of-this-world campaign? To #MakeSpaceForWomen and “to enable the next generation of female scientists, engineers, programmers and space explorers to Face Anything.”
While chatting with ET Canada, the Canadian late-night host shared what it was like to work on the female-led ad campaign.
“I’m super proud to be a part of an all-female cast,” she said. “It’s all just women who inspire me and who are trailblazing their industry.”
“It was inspiring to be on set and I’m honoured to be a part of something that has so many fearless women that are paving that,” she added.
In the prominently male-dominated fan base of the NFL, Olay is hoping that their advertisement will speak to the 45 per cent of fans who are women.
When it comes to working in a male-dominated industry, you could say Singh has a lot of experience as she now hosts her own late-night show, “A Little Late with Lilly Singh”.
The 31-year-old shared that she knows it’s a huge honour to be in a late-night world, but that it’s really shown her that there’s space in the industry for everyone.
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Honoured to be included in the @time 100 next list amongst so many other talented and inspirational people. Felt even cooler being nominated by the wonderful @jimmyfallon who not only gave me my late night debut but has been supportive ever since. #LateWithLilly is truly dependent on the support of my mentors and peers and I’m forever grateful to those who have taken a chance on me and bet on this show. Y’all are going on my list for real ones of 2019. I SEE YOU ❤️
“When I’m doing my late-night show, I’m talking from a point of view and perspective that we don’t hear very much in late-night and I’ve always believed that in industries, whether it’s entertainment or whatever it is, that the people in that industry need to be reflective of the people consuming that industry…which is the world,” said Singh.
“So, I’ve always felt that there’s more than enough space in every industry for all types of people, especially women, that we can get those point of views,” she added. “I think that’s why even connecting to the Olay campaign, what the message is is making space for more women. So, it’s not just about my win, it’s not just about Olay, it’s not just about me being in the Olay commercial, it’s about making space for other women and that we are creating a change.”
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Y’all don’t understand how much I love the @latewithlilly live audience! They keep me feeling hype and energized while I’m running on .2 hours of sleep. Truly the best part of my day and the job! 🙏🏽 I can’t thank you all enough for the support! ❤️ If you want to join them head to LillySinghTix.com to reserve your free tickets. WE MAKING HISTORY YALL AND WE WANT YOU THERE! ❤️ link in bio x
Singh has also been making space when it comes to representation, recently speaking out on social media about being a bisexual woman of colour on late-night television after getting criticized for using the term to describe herself.
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A comment I occasionally receive in response to my YouTube videos and late night show is something along the lines of: “Stop mentioning you’re a bisexual woman of colour!” I’m not going to lie, my initial plan was to make a post roasting these people but what would that accomplish? A mantra I’m using moving forward is compassion over cancellation and education over reaction. So instead of reacting out of anger, I thought I’d lovingly share a few thoughts. Firstly, when I announced my late night show, it was a strange experience for me to see headlines describing me as a bisexual woman of colour. Trust me, if you think you’ve seen this phrase a lot with respect to me, I’ve seen it more. It was a challenging thing to navigate because I wanted to be described firstly by my accomplishment but instead of feeling some type of way about this repetitive description, I chose to embrace it. Secondly, being able to celebrate who I truly am has been a very difficult journey. Whenever I can loudly and proudly be my true self, it self-validates a part of me that so many others have tried to invalidate. Growing up, if I had heard ANYONE else celebrate being a “bisexual woman of colour” perhaps my life would have been less confusing. What’s repetitive to you, may be meaningful to someone else. And lastly, I think it’s important to question why me making commentary about who I am, irks you so much. No one listens to top 40 music and says “ugh, we get it… you’re straight and sexually active!” I’ve watched every single one of my late night episodes, and I’ve probably proclaimed myself a “bisexual woman of colour” 4 times in 96 episodes. Otherwise, I am simply sharing my POV, being who I am, and that is something everyone should be afforded. With all due respect, you do not get to be part of the privileged majority and tell me how many times I’m allowed to celebrate who I am. Even if I mention it 96 times & tattoo it on my forehead. If this representation doesn’t matter to you, congratulations on your circumstances, but plz do not rain on my parade. Love wins & that includes me loving ppl who needed this POV. I have no hatred in my heart for you, just faith that we can all be one❤️
“Well I love the internet a lot, but I feel like one of the things the internet has also resulted on is this idea of cancel culture,” the comedian said. Singh launched her own YouTube channel back in 2010 under the alias ||Superwoman|| before joining the late-night world.
“My hope for this year and moving forward is to lead with compassion and education. The purpose behind my post was saying ‘Hey, you know I know some people didn’t grow up with different sexualities’. In the Indian community, it’s a huge taboo to talk about sexuality,” Singh continued.
“So my hope is to conversations and educate because that’s the only way to lift one another up. It’s just to understand that everyone was raised different and share ideas that make the world a better place.”
Olay North America will be donating one dollar to Girls Who Code for every time the #MakeSpaceForWomen hashtag is used on social media until the end of Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2.