Ukrainian minister criticizes Emily in Paris for an “unacceptable caricature”

“Is this how Ukrainians are perceived abroad?”

Ukraine’s culture minister has denounced the Netflix show Emily in Paris for its “offensive” portrayal of a Ukrainian woman.

As reported in The GuardianOleksandr Tkachenko released a statement highlighting the harmful stereotypes reinforced by 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 shoplift with her. Additionally, Petra’s style is viewed with dismay and she is terrified of being deported to Ukraine.

In his statement, Mr Tkachenko said: “We have a cartoonish image of a Ukrainian woman which is unacceptable. It is also insulting. Is this how Ukrainians are seen abroad? get for free, are afraid of being deported?” That shouldn’t be the case.”

He continued, “Netflix knows Ukraine well, so most of the Paris streets in The Last Mercenary were filmed in Kiev.

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

Mr. Tkachenko spoke of the need for Ukrainians to continue to fight against harmful stereotypes.

He said: “But this is probably not enough. And we will have to continue to fight against stereotypes. Because if in the 90s and 2000s Ukrainians were mainly portrayed as gangsters, over time this has changed .”

The minister is not the only one to oppose the stereotypes maintained by the very popular show Netflix. Many French critics criticized the show for its portrayal of French people, particularly Parisians.

A First Emily’s review in Paris said she portrayed the French as “lazy, coquettish, sexist and backward”.

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