Emily in Paris Showcases Netflix’s Biggest Faux Pas

The series furthers false stereotypes about French culture


The widely popular Netflix original Emily In Paris focuses on Chicago marketing executive Emily Cooper played by actress Lily Collins (Rosie Dunne, Love Rosie). She is hired to provide an American perspective at a marketing firm in Paris.

While Emily In Paris may come across as a fun representation of French culture, it is filled with misrepresentations and French stereotypes.

The plot of Emily In Paris is already lacking substance, and one of the only ways the show writers are able to keep viewers engaged is through cheap, ignorant jokes and stereotypes around French culture.

Throughout the show, the French capital is presented as a dreamscape complete with characters wearing over-the-top outfits, bottles of champagne everywhere and of course, the Eiffel Tower being in every other scene. In the first season, French characters are audibly heard saying “oui oui.”

Parisians and French residents have spoken out against this inaccurate and stereotypical portrayal of their home. Many international viewers have reported that this cliche depiction of where they live is hurtful and just another way of Americans mocking French culture.

French foreign exchange student, junior Laura Bouvier reports it as being “awful” and a “super bad representation of French people.” In comparison to everyday life in France, the show was completely off.

“It’s not comparable in any way. The little apartment that Emily lived in would actually be very expensive and not something she would be able to afford,” Bouvier said.

The use of French language in Emily in Paris is also outdated and very Americanized.

“They called Emily some mean word that we would never use today. It’s really only old people that use it,” Bouvier said.

Emily In Paris focuses a lot on Emily’s love life and shows her chasing after handsome, gallant men with French accents. The show throws in cheating and affairs just like every other Netflix Original, which is one of the only things keeping viewers watching.

The show is attempting to bring two cultures together, but in reality it’s really doing the opposite. The lack of diversity and limited exploration of different Parisian neighborhoods add onto the close minded view that the Americans who created the show push.

Along with these harmful stereotypes, the show severely lacks diversity. The cast is mainly made up of white people. Even when she walks down the street, there’s not one Arab, Black or Asian person in the background: it’s only white people.

Those who live in Paris know that this is an unrealistic view of city life. If they want to make it feel like Paris then they need to stop excluding entire groups of people.

Emily In Paris is presented as a drama-filled, cliche show, but when viewers peel back the layers of ugly fashion and stereotypes the show writers’ ignorance of French culture is apparent. If the show ever hopes to improve their accuracy on depicting Paris, they should consider getting outside perspectives from Parisians and those with more up to date knowledge on French culture.