A Minister from Ukraine has called out the popular Netflix show Emily in Paris because of its controversial portrayal of a Ukrainian.
Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Minister of Culture of Ukraine has labeled the depiction of a character in the show as “Insulting”. Petra played by Daria Panchenko is the supposed character who is a woman from Keiv in the show.
Emily in Paris is a Comedy-Drama Netflix Show that features Emily Cooper played by Lily Collins who goes to Paris for her job as a marketing executive.
Season 2 of the show was released last month and in its fourth episode, we are introduced to the character of Petra who attempts shoplifting while shopping with Emily.
Petra is portrayed as a person who has a poor sense of fashion and she constantly fears being deported.
Tkachenko vented on Telegram: “In Emily in Paris, we have a caricature of a Ukrainian woman that is unacceptable. It is also insulting, is this how Ukrainians will be seen abroad? Who steals, wants to get everything for free, be afraid of deportation? This should not be so.”
Reports from Ukrainian media suggest that the minister sent a letter complaining about the same thing to Netflix. In turn, Tkachenko said that Netflix’s reply to his concern was “quite diplomatic”.
The Reaction of People on Social Media
The reaction of some people was in support of the minister of culture while some were purely criticizing his concern.
#Ukraine complains about stereotyping of Kyiv by Netflix in 'Emily in Paris'. If that were the only case of this American company boilerplating every country, the world would view itself in a much more realistic manner.
— Charles Beale (@Beale7Charles) January 3, 2022
Eugenia Havrylko’s post got shared on the official account of Ukraine, Ukraine.ua that said: “I feel like this cannot be ignored … Being the most successful Netflix show in 2021, knowing your influence on millions of minds and hearts all over the world, there is still a place for such ignorance and intolerance?”
On the other hand, Natalka Yakymovych, A Ukrainian Actor and Film Producer criticized Tkachenko’s complaint and said: “So, in a TV series, negative characters can be anything but Ukrainian? We all would like her to be from Moscow, but you don’t always get what you want.”
Not the First Rodeo
This is not the first time the Golden Globe-nominated show has been called out. In the first season, the show received complaints from French critics who called the show “insulting” toward the French people.
Charles Martin, a critic at Premiere wrote: “In Emily in Paris, we learn that the French are ‘all bad’ (yes, yes), that they are lazy and never arrive at the office before the end of the morning, that they are flirtatious and not really attached to the concept of loyalty, that they are sexist and backward, and of course, that they have a questionable relationship with showering. Yes, no cliche is spared, not even the weakest.”
To this, Darren Star, the creator of the show said that he was “not sorry for looking at Paris through a glamorous lens”.
Do you think the concern of Oleksandr Tkachenko makes sense? Let us know in the comments!