Ukraine minister criticises Emily in Paris for "unacceptable caricature" 2 weeks ago

Ukraine minister criticises Emily in Paris for "unacceptable caricature"

"Is that how Ukrainians are seen abroad?"

Ukraine's culture minister has called out the Netflix show Emily in Paris for its "offensive" portrayal of a Ukrainian woman.

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As reported in The Guardian, Oleksandr Tkachenko issued a statement highlighting the harmful stereotypes that are reinforced through the character of Petra, one of Emily's classmates.

The character is played by Daria Panchenko.

In one episode, Petra shows a penchant for shoplifting and attempts to get Emily to go on a stealing spree with her. Additionally, Petra's style is looked upon with dismay, and she is shown to be terrified of being deported back to Ukraine.

In his statement, Mr Tkachenko said: "We have a caricature image of a Ukrainian woman that is unacceptable. It is also insulting. Is that how Ukrainians are seen abroad? Who steal, want to get everything for free, be afraid of deportation? That should not be the case."

He continued: "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.

"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."

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Mr Tkachenko touched upon the need for Ukrainians to continue to push against harmful stereotypes.

He said: "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."

The Minister isn't the only one to object to stereotypes upheld by the hugely popular Netflix show. Many French critics have panned the show for its representation fo French people, especially Parisians.

A Première review of Emily in Paris said that it depicted the French as "lazy, flirtatious, sexist and backward".