Viewers have been raving about the very American Emily in Paris but not everyone is happy with it. The Ukranian culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, is upset with the way the show highlighted stereotypes of Ukrainians living in Europe or abroad.
The hit Netflix show features a character named Petra who befriends Emily in order to shoplift and make her an ally in order to steal even more.
According to BBC, Tkachenko has issued a complaint to Netflix and said, "in Emily in Paris, we have a caricature image of a Ukrainian woman that is unacceptable. It is also insulting." He shared his take on the show via his official Telegram channel just a few days after the second season premiered worldwide. "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," he wrote.
Tkachenko also mentioned that he had watched the first season and for him it was "a pretty good entertainment series". According to a Ukranian publication, the minister already got a "diplomatic response" from the streaming giant. Netflix assured Tkachenko that "Ukrainian viewers' concerns about the image of the Ukrainian woman have been heard. It was agreed that in 2022 we will be in closer contact to prevent such cases."
The newest season kicked off with Emily (Lily Collins) the 'American' who has come to Paris and finds it difficult to assimilate with Parisians and their different set of rules, work ethics and even boundaries. Emily hits off with her friend's boyfriend Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) and lives with the guilt of cheating on her best friend.
She signs up for a French class where she bumps into Petra (Daria Panchenko) with whom she later forms a close bond.
This isn't the first time we've seen stereotypes make their way into Emily in Paris. The first season also showed a Serbian model who promoted Maison Lavaux's perfume De L'Heure and upon being interviewed by Emily, shared a lot about wanting to be rich. It took a dig at Serbs in general due to their economic ranking and desire to be wealthy.
In fact, stereotypes play an important role in the show being the beret Emily wears or the portrayal of the French being chain-smokers and casually cheating behind their partners' backs. However, Collins had said in an interview with Elle UK that the show will be more "inclusive and diverse."
Much to everyone's dismay, the second season hasn't shed its stereotypical approach and even has a new character Alfie — a Brit who loves to spends most of his day at the pub watching football.