Portrayal of Ukrainian Woman in Netflix Series 'Emily in Paris' Draws Ire of Nation's Culture Chief

© AP Photo / Matt RourkeIn this July 17, 2017, file photo the Netflix logo is displayed on an iPhone in Philadelphia.
In this July 17, 2017, file photo the Netflix logo is displayed on an iPhone in Philadelphia.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.12.2021
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KIEV (Sputnik) - Ukrainian culture minister Oleksandr Tkachenko on Friday blasted the "caricatured" and "offensive" portrayal of a Ukrainian woman in the Netflix series 'Emily in Paris', pledging to submit his objections to the American streaming service.
"'Emily in Paris' has a caricatured image of a Ukrainian woman, which is unacceptable. And offensive. Why should Ukrainians be perceived like this abroad? As people who steal, want to get everything for free, and are afraid of deportation? It should not be like this. I will submit our position in writing to Netflix," Tkachenko wrote on his Telegram channel.
The minister continued by saying that Netflix has a good knowledge of Ukraine and could have avoided such mistakes. He said that the comedy-drama series was pretty good in general, but argued that the new season has been driven by stereotypes.
Many social media users shared Tkachenko's view, with Ukrainians saying that Netflix has created "the most disgusting character", and they felt "humiliated" watching the show.
In the fourth episode of season two, viewers were introduced to a new character, Petra - a vulgarly dressed blonde from Kiev. The series' protagonist, Emily Cooper, meets Petra in her French class and the two then try to bond and practise French together.
As part of their bonding, they go shopping and Petra suggests they steal several items from the store. Because of a language barrier, Emily unwittingly steals from the shop, but on realising her mistake, tries to convince her new Ukrainian friend to go back and return the stolen clothes and a bag. Petra does not want to go back, and they end up arguing, with Emily leaving.
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