‘Emily in Paris’ Dragged by Chicago Pizzeria Lou Malnati’s for “Heartless” Joke

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Viewers may be loving Netflix’s Emily in Paris, but the same can’t be said of Chicago pizzeria Lou Malnati’s. In a media statement obtained by Variety, the famed restaurant slammed the Netflix series for making a “heartless” joke at their expense. “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,” said the pizzeria.

Created by Sex and the City alum Darren Star, Emily in Paris stars Lily Collins as Emily Cooper, a native Chicagoan who moves to Paris for work. Emily struggles to get along with her new colleagues, but in the first episode, her new boss reveals that he once ate deep dish pizza in the Windy City, and she believes she finally has an in. “That is our specialty!” she says. “We take a lot of pride.”

However, when her boss informs her it was “disgusting” — “like a quiche made of cement,” he says — Emily recoils. “Oh no. You must have gone to Lou Malnati’s,” she says, referencing the famed deep dish pizzeria.

As you can imagine, the jab didn’t sit well with Lou Malnati’s, and the company expressed its disappointment in a press release issued this week. “Malnati’s is always the first to participate in good-natured banter with pizza lovers from New York or California,” wrote the pizzeria. “However, it feels especially unkind to disparage anyone during these difficult times, given that most restaurants are struggling to hang on.”

Owner Marc Malnati, Lou’s eldest son, echoed that sentiment. “We’ve been serving Chicago’s favorite Deep Dish since 1971,” he said. “When Netflix’s Emily in Paris writers chose to take a shot at Chicagoans and our pizza to try to get a laugh, it felt heartless and not humorous in the midst of Covid-19.”

For their part, Netflix and Star have yet to respond to Lou Malnati’s statement. Decider has reached out to Netflix for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

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