- Netflix released “Emily in Paris” on October 2.
- In the first 15 minutes of the first episode, the script calls out Chicago-style pizza chain Lou Malnati’s, with one character referring to its deep-dish pizza as “a quiche made of cement.”
- The restaurant took to Instagram this week to call out the show for its “heartless” dig.
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Netflix’s newest romantic comedy series “Emily in Paris” took a controversial jab at Chicago’s iconic deep-dish pizza, and one of the city’s most well-known chains isn’t pleased.
The show’s first episode follows Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins) as she relocates from the windy city to Paris, France, for a job. At around the 10-minute mark, Cooper is introduced to a company executive and tries to make a good first impression. When he mentions he’s been to Chicago before and has tried deep-dish pizza, Cooper nearly squeals with excitement.
“That is our specialty!” she says. “We take a lot of pride.”
Her elated expression disappears when the man calls it disgusting and likens the pie to “a quiche made of cement.” To that, Cooper replies, “Oh no, you must have gone to Lou Malnati’s.”
And the team over at Lou’s noticed. They took to Instagram on Wednesday to first respond to the jab with the caption, “Emily in Paris thinks Lou’s sucks. We disagree. Try it for yourself. Hate it? #movetoParis 🍕”
As a follow-up, the restaurant posted another photo with a longer caption that called the comment “heartless” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quoting owner Marc Malnati, the next caption read: “We’ve been serving Chicago’s favorite Deep Dish since 1971. 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.” (Us Weekly’s Erin Crabtree notes that the show was filmed over a year ago, months before the coronavirus outbreak hit the US.)
Lou Malnati’s is a Chicago-based, family-owned pizzeria with 67 total locations spanning four different states.
The first Lou Malnati pizzeria opened in 1971, according to the restaurant’s website. Ownership has remained within the Malnati family since its founding and, according to the company, nearly 25% of their full-time staff members have been with the company for more than 10 years.
The restaurant flipped the negative comment into a business opportunity by offering $5 off their Tastes of Chicago pizza packages, which ship nationwide, as a thank you to loyal customers. (At the time of writing, this offer is set to expire on October 14.)
By Thursday, the Lou Malnati’s team apparently cooled off a bit and called a truce on the social platform, even offering to send Collins their fan-favorite pizza.
“We’ve simmered down some and we’re thinking this might have been one big misunderstanding, right @emilyinparis?” the caption read. “You too, @lilyjcollins, we know you were just delivering your lines, so no hard feelings. Let’s call it a truce over some deep dish. Tell us where to send it! 🍕”
A representative for Lou Malnati’s told Insider that the pizzeria has not yet heard back from the actress or from Netflix.
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Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.
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