When it’s not offending France or irritating casual viewers, the Lily Collins-led Netflix show “Emily in Paris” is ticking off Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko recently called the show “offensive” over its stereotypical portrayal of a Ukranian woman.
Debuting in December, the second season of the show kicks off with its titular character Emily joining a French class and partnering up with a blond Ukrainian named Petra (Daria Panchenko). The two then go to a mall to shop, where Petra steals clothes and pulls Emily out of the store to run off with them.
Needless to say, Tkachenko had “a few comments” for that particular character and scene.
On his official Telegram channel, he wrote, “In Emily in Paris we have a caricature of a Ukrainian woman, which is unacceptable. On the other hand, it is also offensive. Will Ukrainians be seen as such abroad? Who steal, want to get everything for free, be afraid of deportation? That should not be the case.”
“Netflix is well acquainted with Ukraine, suffice to say that most of the streets of Paris in the movie The Last Mercenary were filmed in Kiev,” he continued. “In addition, with the popularization of our culture, Europeans and Americans have heard about our artists and beyond. At least about the conductor Oksana Lyniv, tennis player Elina Svitolina, singer Jamala, designer Vita Kin. But this is probably not enough. And we will have to continue to fight stereotypes. Because if in the 90s and 2000s Ukrainian guys were portrayed mostly as gangsters, over time that has changed.”
While the show enjoyed popularity in 2020, it came with its fair share of controversy over its overused stereotypes and clichés. French viewers and critics have openly bombed the series, calling it “unrealistic” and “outdated.”
Art Daniella Sison