If French people love one thing, it’s claiming that they can’t possibly be racist because they simply pretend that race does not exist. In the name of authenticity, Emily in Paris’s first season followed the same logic and featured few people of color in front of and behind the camera, according to newly reflective producer/star Lily Collins.
If you’ve ever been to gay Paree, you know that there are, in fact, non-white people who live in one of the city’s 20 arrondissements. Collins has recently learned this, and is now listening, learning, and putting them in the second season of the Netflix behemoth.
Speaking to Elle UK about the lack of representation on the show’s first season, Collins said, “For me as Emily, but also as a producer on [the show], after season one, hearing people’s thoughts, concerns, questions, likes, dislikes, just feelings about it, there were certain things that spoke to the time that we’re living in and what’s right, and moral and correct and should be done. And [that was] something that I felt passionate about.” I am generously choosing to believe that this interview was conducted in French (Method) and then run through Google Translate back to English. It’s the only way that quote would make sense.
“I really wanted diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera to be something that we really put our focus on, in a lot of ways. Hiring new people in front of the camera, also giving new storylines to different characters, which was really important,” the Mirror, Mirror star said. She did not address the far more prevalent critique of the show — that it is bad. But there’s always season three.
For now, all I can say is thank God Emily in Paris is finally going to present Paris in all of its diversity. Maybe this season Emily will take on France’s rampant Islamophobia with the same vim and vigor with which she took on the fact that they use the masculine article for the word “vagina.” Or maybe she will take the metro up to Belleville for Tunisian food and fall in love with a hunky waiter. Either way, I’m sure she’ll handle any situation with tact and grace, and that Emily in Paris’s second season will be nothing short of 35 Shots of Rum for the Instagram generation.