'Emily In Paris' S2 draws criticism from Ukrainian minister over the portrayal of a character

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jan 03, 2022, 02:00 PM(IST)

'Emily In Paris' season 2 Photograph:( Twitter )

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In the show 'Emily in Paris', the character Petra, a Ukrainian, is shown to shoplift during a trip with Emily- the main protagonist of the show.

The second season of 'Emily In Paris' has not gone down well with the people of Ukraine. The series premiered its second season in December 2021 on Netflix, and it has been accussed of cultural appropriation. 

Multiple news reports state that Ukraine's culture minister has complained to the OTT platform over the portrayal of a character from Kyiv in the show. 

The character Petra, a Ukrainian, is shown to shoplift during a trip with Emily- the main protagonist of the show. The show follows a young American woman Emily, played by Lily Collins, who travels to Paros for work. 

Oleksandr Tkachenko described the caricature image of Petra as "insulting".

Emily in Paris S2 review: Lily Collins starrer is a pleasant & entertaining holiday watch

The character Petra - played by Ukrainian actress Daria Panchenko- is shown to have poor taste in fashion and is afraid of being deported. 

"In Emily in Paris, we have a caricature image of a Ukrainian woman that is unacceptable. It is also insulting," Tkachenko wrote on Telegram.

The minister has reportedly sent a letter to streaming service complaining about the portrayal of Petra. 
A few seem to be echoing Tkachenko's thoughts. 

"The way you treated the image of Ukrainians in your second season, 4th episode is such a low-cost trick, absolute scandal and a shame," Yevheniya Havrylk, an Ukrainian in Paris wrote in an Instagram post, which has had more than 75,000 likes.

There are others who have spoken in defence of the show. Ukrainian film producer Natalka Yakymovych said, "So in a TV series, negative characters can be anything but Ukrainian? Obviously, we all would like her to be from Moscow, but you don't always get what you want."

Interestingly, this is not the first time that 'Emily In Paris' has been criticised for its sweeping portrayal of other nationalities. 

The first season was criticised by the French for promoting stereotypical images of Paris and its residents.

The show portrayed the French as rude, and the sorts who frequently cheat on their partners. 

In the second season, the new character Alfie, a Brit, is shown to spend his time drinking in pubs and watching football.

Darren Star, the creator of the show, previously defended the first series, saying he was "not sorry for looking at Paris through a glamorous lens". He stated that he created the series based on his own experiences while visiting the city.

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