Why This Chicago Pizza Joint Is Calling Out Emily in Paris's "Heartless" Joke

Starring Lily Collins, Netflix's Emily in Paris is a delightful, easy-to-binge show sparking memes and comparisons to SATC. But one silly joke left a Chicago pizza joint reeling.

By Jonathan Borge Oct 08, 2020 4:00 PMTags
Watch: Lily Collins on How "Emily in Paris" Differs From "Sex and the City"

How do you say awkward in French?

Less than a week after it debuted on Netflix, Emily in Paris has captivated the eyes of eager TV watchers for reasons both good and bad. Yes, the costumes are gorgeously designed and the City of Lights is the perfect backdrop. But critics and fans have wondered, is the show problematic? And, a valid point, which fictional Emily really, truly deserved a trip overseas? (Just saying: Emily Charlton got hit by a taxi while picking up Hermès scarves and got nothing out of it.)

That's for you to decide.

However, one seemingly innocent punch line from the series completely rubbed the butt of the joke the wrong way. Starring Lily Collins as the titular character, the show follows an aggressively optimistic woman in her '20s who leaves the Midwest, arrives in Paris for work and has a tough time fitting in with her new French colleagues. (Yes, it has major Sex and the City vibes).

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Inside the Closet of Emily in Paris

In episode one, she tries to fit in by telling a colleague that Chicagoans like her "take a lot of pride" in their deep dish pizza, a food item that said colleague calls "disgusting...like a quiche made of cement." Digging herself out of the situation, Emily replies, "Oh, no. You must have gone to Lou Malnati's." Innocent enough, right?

Well, not so much. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the real-life Chicago pizza chain, a deep dish institution since 1971, released a statement and took to social media to slam the Netflix show and stand their ground, calling the joke "heartless and not humorous."

"While the writers of Emily in Paris may not be fans of deep dish pizza or Lou Malnati's in particular, generations of Chicagoans would strongly disagree," the statement read. "Malnati's is always the first to participate in a good-natured banter with pizza lovers from New York or California. However, it feels especially unkind to disparage anyone during these difficult times, given that most restaurants are struggling to hang on."

Yikes. 

Regardless of whether fans think the joke was a wee bit harsh or just for laughs, the whole situation exactly mirrors the not-life-or-death-but-pretty-important challenges Emily faces at work and in her personal life. What would she do? Hm. Probably apologize on Instagram, then offer to take on their social media marketing and win big at the office. 

At day's end Emily in Paris is a fun-loving show created by Darren Star to offer an escape. Our way of getting lost? By replaying this clip of Lucas Bravo, an actor on the show who's officially everyone's new crush.

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