Netflix causes scandal by showing Ukrainian woman as thief in “Emily in Paris”

On the 22nd of December, 2021, the second season of the famous American series Emily in Paris from Netflix was aired. One of the episodes introduced a new character — Petra, a young woman who came from Kyiv. But such a move from Netflix angered Ukrainian social media because she was depicted as a thief and a fan of garish and crazy clothing. Now AIN.UA will share some details of the scandal with you.

What’s happened

As in the first season of one of the most famous Netflix series Emily in Paris, Season 2 tells you the story of an American, Emily Cooper, who moved to Paris to build a career there. She meets a Ukrainian, Petra, at a French class. Then they decide to practice the language and take a walk through the city. The naive and awfully-dressed Petra teaches Emily how to steal good clothes. However, after Emily asks Petra to return stolen goods, she refuses to do so because otherwise, “she would be deported back to Ukraine.”

Official Netflix Ukraine Instagram page

After the premiere, Ukrainian social media exploded with critics. People accused Netflix of stereotypical thinking regarding Ukrainian women and Ukraine in general. Indignant users left angry comments on official pages of the streaming service and posts on their own Instagram and Twitter pages.

Daryna Panchenko’s character Petra
Photo: Netflix

For instance, a post of Eugenia Havrylko got over 30,000 likes and over 3,000 reposts just in one day. It also was mentioned by the official account of Ukraine — It says that Ukraine is famous for plenty of successful and talented women.

“Emily in Paris, I’m speaking here on behalf of all the Ukrainian women around the world. And 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?”

Eugenia Havrylko

And the commentators write that the new figure from Kyiv didn’t impact the main storyline and just offended Ukrainians:

“Is there any need to show Ukrainian women in such a way? Or does the tolerance involve only people with different skin color or sexual orientation?”

Instargam user anastasiia_nst

According to Elle, Petra was played by Ukrainian actress Daryna Panchenko, who really comes from Kyiv as it was said in the scandalous Emily in Paris episode. Her career in Paris includes roles in the following movies: Equilibrium, Good Intentions, and Mortem.