‘Emily in Paris’ is ‘offensive,’ Ukraine’s culture minister says

Oleksandr Tkachenko shared his frustration at the “offensive” way in which Petra, a Ukrainian character, is portrayed in Season 2 of the series, which debuted on Netflix in December.

The final season kicks off with American executive Emily (Lily Collins) juggling the consequences of sleeping with her friend’s boyfriend, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), the demands of her job in Paris – and the cultural barriers that exist between her and her. his Parisian colleagues.

To help her assimilate, the native of Chicago enrolled in a French course for beginners, where she met Petra, played by Daria Panchenko.

However, Petra makes a bad impression on Emily when she shamelessly steals clothes from a local mall and encourages her to do the same, before sprinting through the streets of Paris.

“Unacceptable” and “offensive”

Tkachenko condemned the scenario.

“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 everything for free, are afraid of deportation? This shouldn’t be the case, ”he wrote in an article on his official Telegram channel, two days after the release of the second season.

He said that even though he watched the first season and described it as “a pretty good entertainment series” he now has “some comments.”

“Netflix knows Ukraine well, which is to say that most of the streets of Paris in the movie ‘The Last Mercenary’ were shot in Kiev.”

Also, with the popularization of our culture, Europeans and Americans have heard of our artists and beyond. At least from conductor Oksana Lyniv, tennis player Elina Svitolina, singer Jamala, from designer Vita Kin. “

“But that’s probably not enough. And we’ll have to keep fighting against stereotypes. Because while in the 90s and 2000s Ukrainian guys were mostly portrayed as gangsters, over time that has changed.”

CNN has contacted Netflix for comment.

A fan favorite?

When the first season of “Emily in Paris” was released in 2020, some French viewers announced it, claiming that it was recycling outdated clichés about the City of Light and its inhabitants.

Most recently, the new love of Emily, a British banker named Alfie (Lucien Laviscount), drew mixed reviews from viewers.

Lucas Bravo (left) and Lucien Laviscount (right) embody Emily's two loves in season 2 of the Netflix show.
“I hate the way they portrayed Alfie in Emily in Paris,” a user tweeted, arguing that “British people would NEVER also cringe”.
“Alfie in Emily in Paris is really the stereotypical British guy who likes to go to the pub,” wrote another one.
“I’m in love with Alfie from Emily in Paris”, another user tweeted.

Despite criticism, the Emmy-nominated show has always won over viewers.

The first season aired by 58 million households in its first four weeks and was Netflix’s most popular comedy series of 2020, according to a press release.

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