The 32-year-old actress addressed the criticism the show received around representation in its first season during an interview for Elle U.K.'s December cover story.
"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," she said. "And [that was] something that I felt passionate about. [The producers] all believed in the same things. And 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."
After Emily in Paris premiered on Netflix in October 2020, the series was criticized for its mostly white cast. While there are cast members who are not white on the show, Katherine Singh wrote in a Fashion Magazine piece that their characters appear as "a prop to serve the main protagonist."
The show has also been criticized for its depiction of French culture.
"We're portraying clichés and we're portraying one single vision of Paris," Collins' French co-star Lucas Bravo told Cosmopolitan last year. "Paris is one of the most diverse cities in the world. We have so many ways of thinking, so many different nationalities, so many different neighborhoods. A lifetime wouldn't be enough to know everything that's going on in Paris. It's an entire world in a city, At some point, if you want to tell a story about Paris, you have to choose an angle. You have to choose a vision. French critics, they didn't understand the fact that it's just one vision. They're like, 'Oh, this is not what Paris is.' Of course. Paris is many things."
Collins also addressed French critics in an interview with Vogue Arabia. "As disheartening as it sometimes is to read these things, it's also a gift; you're being allowed to improve," she said, later adding that, ahead of season two, creator Darren Starr and fellow producers "championed my opinions and opened me up to an experience that was so rewarding and empowering."
Despite the criticism, Emily in Paris has been viewed by millions of households. In fact, it was Netflix's most popular comedy series of 2020, with 58 million viewers in the first 28 days alone. The show, which provided an escape for many amid the coronavirus pandemic, also earned two Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Season two of Emily in Paris is set to hit the streaming platform Dec. 22.