Emily in Paris may be trashy, but the streets of Paris are currently worse.
Workers in France have been demonstrating against a controversial pension reform bill that President Emmanuel Macron is trying to implement. If passed, it will increase the retirement age by two years. The photos and TikToks coming out of the country have been pretty intense — and we all know that when the French protest, they spare no effort to ensure their voices are heard.
One video shows an effigy of President Macron being tossed into a bonfire. And another video perfectly captured the chaos of the protests by juxtaposing footage of people marching and people dancing around a fire with the iconic French song "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien."
But new Paris residents Grace Shadrack and Grace Foley went viral after posting a TikTok showing trash piled up in the street with the Emily In Paris original song, “Mon Soleil” by Ashley Park, playing.
“We thought it'd be really funny if we used the Emily In Paris sound and made the rubbish look glamorous,” Foley told BuzzFeed News.
Sanitation workers are one of the groups striking, which means that garbage in some parts of the city hasn’t been collected for two weeks, leaving the streets overflowing with it.
The 20-year-olds said they had no clue that the protests were happening until they stumbled upon them while out shopping. “We went into a shop and asked a lady and she said, obviously, they're striking for the retirement age,” Shadrack said. “It was pretty crazy.”
They said that they are on the side of the striking workers.
Shadrack and Foley are British influencers and best friends who spent the past year traveling around the world before deciding to live in Paris. One main factor for their decision was, of course, Emily in Paris, a show they adored. They now live 10 minutes away from the square where the show was filmed.
Their viral video with the caption, “Hopefully emily can save paris in the new season!! xxxx,” now has over 11 million views. They said they were inspired to make a TikTok after seeing a video where someone had edited Emily (played by Lily Collins) from Emily In Paris taking a selfie in front of the piles of rubbish.
Before posting their video, Shadrack and Foley were a little worried that people would misunderstand their light-hearted joke and find the video offensive. Thankfully, however, that didn’t happen.
“There's a lot of people who kind of find it funny that we really glamorized Paris,” Foley said, “and we showed the best parts because obviously, that's part of our job is to make it look nice so we just thought it'd be funny just to show the reality.”
The soundtrack for the series is being used by a lot of people to post clips of trash, and Emily has been memed too. In one TikTok captioned, “thank you emily for romanticizing paris,” someone edited Emily onto photos of the protest.