Spoiler alert: Article contains major spoilers for “Emily in Paris” season 3.
“Emily in Paris” creator/executive producer Darren Star discusses some of the big season 3 storylines, as well as some of the backlash the show has faced in the past in a new interview with Deadline.
Reporter Nellie Andreeva brings up that Ukrainian immigrant storyline in season 2 in the candid chat, which saw Petra, played by Daria Panchenko, meet lead character Emily (played by Lily Collins) in French class before they went shopping together and she stole an array of expensive items.
The episode faced criticism when it was shown earlier this year, with Star now saying: “Can I say one little thing about that? We cast this actress and just asked her, where are you from? She said Kyiv, so we made her Ukrainian.
“It wasn’t written like, she has to be Ukrainian; it was written as anywhere, it could have been Romania, it could have been Russia. This show is an equal opportunity offender to all cultures that’s always meant to be lighthearted, never meant to cause harm or anything. So I think it was bad timing.”
Andreeva replies, “No, not just the timing with the war in Ukraine. I’m an Eastern European immigrant. There’s a stigma, and it didn’t help the way she was portrayed, with the shoplifting and the other stuff,” to which Star insists, “I hear you. Next time we’ll be better.”
Star also touched on some of the criticism the show has faced for showing a “romanticized version of life in Paris” and whether the show will “introduce more of the realities of living in a foreign country.”
He shares of the latest season, “I think we wanted to touch on the realities a little bit more, I feel like this season the show has become a little more grounded. Because first of all, we’re looking at it from all perspectives, it’s not just all from Emily’s point of view this season, it’s from some of the other characters’ point of view.
“And I think Emily, her feet are on the ground a little bit more, so I think she’s dealing with a somewhat ordinary issue — the way we’d play with it in our ‘Emily in Paris’ fashion — but I felt like we couldn’t ignore it completely. We can’t completely live out of reality in terms of her work life and her life in Paris.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Star speaks about the moment when Camille (Camille Razat) decides not to go through with her wedding to Gabriel (Lucas Bravo).
Star says of what stopped her from tying the knot, “I think there’s a number of aspects. I think ultimately she is a character who would never want to manipulate somebody into marriage.
“I think there’s so many things that were involved, from making a pact with Emily to feeling that Gabriel would have to marry her out of any sense of obligation to also sensing that they — Gabriel and Emily — have a kind of relationship that she knows she doesn’t have with Gabriel, I think he lights up around Emily in a way that she knows that he doesn’t around her. I think she’s also maybe fallen in love with someone else, although I don’t know that that’s the total reason. And this idea that she’s living out her mother’s life and her mother’s dreams for her and wondering, is she really following her own heart and her own life,” he adds.
“The wedding was a rushed moment. It’s not so difficult to break an engagement and had she had a lot of time to think about it, I think faced with, basically a shotgun wedding, I think she realized she could not at that moment, she just couldn’t make that commitment.”