Are you moving? You better not be. The doll is looking at you with its glossy eyes, ready to take you out the second your body fails to stay still. This was one of the most iconic scenes of a TV show that took the world by storm back in 2021. Squid Game.
Now, once again, the show is making history, this time at the Emmy awards. 14 nominations await the excited actors and crew, and one by one their names resonate in the hall, followed by applause from their peers.
However, one win is being focused on more than 5 others, and that is Lee Jung-jae’s win for outstanding lead actor in a drama series, making him the first Asian man to win the award and the first to win it for a non-English show. Let’s delve into the details!
Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae won an Emmy, making him the first Asian man to win the award and the first to win it for a non-English show
Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae has become the first Asian star to win an Emmy award for best male actor in a drama. He won for playing the main role of Seong Gi-hun, a struggling father with a gambling problem trying his best to survive the deadly games and become the sole victor.
This year’s nominees included Jason Bateman (Ozark), Brian Cox (Succession), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Adam Scott (Severance), and Jeremy Strong (Succession). Presented by Angela Bassett and Ariana DeBose, the star made history as the first Korean actor to win in this category.
He played the main role of Seong Gi-hun, a struggling father with a gambling problem trying his best to survive the deadly games and become the sole victor
“Thank you so much,” he said during his acceptance speech, “first of all I’d like to thank God above.”
“Thank you to director Hwang for making a realistic problem we all face come to life so gracefully and creatively on the screen with a great script and amazing visuals,” he continued.
“To everyone watching from Korea, my dearest fans, friends and family who have always supported me, I wanted to share this joy with you. Thank you,” he said in the on-screen thank-you text.
“Thank you to director Hwang for making a realistic problem we all face come to life so gracefully and creatively,” Lee said in his acceptance speech
The show won a total of six Emmy Awards after being nominated for 14. Squid Game won the award for outstanding production design for a narrative contemporary program, outstanding guest actress in a drama series, outstanding special visual effects in a single episode, and outstanding stunt performance.
For those of you who have not watched the show yet, here’s a short, and spoiler-free, summary. Hundreds of players riddled with debt and other money issues accept an invitation to compete in what seem to be children’s games. The winner is promised a whopping 45.6 billion-won prize, while the rest die trying.
Squid Game won 6 Emmy Awards. Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of the show, won the best drama series director prize, becoming the first Asian to receive this award
Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator and director of the show, won the best drama series director prize for the show’s first episode, “Red Light, Green Light.” He is also the first Asian to receive this award, and said he hoped this Emmy wouldn’t be his last.
“I want to thank the TV Academy for this honor and also a huge thank-you to Netflix,” he said in his speech, giving a shout out to Netflix boss Ted Sarandos. “On to season two,” he told the audience. The show was renewed for a second season earlier this year, with Hwang confirming Gi-hun would be returning.
Lee told PEOPLE his hopes for the next installment in the series. “I hope there’s some sort of twist that’ll be exciting and surprising for me and the viewers,” he said in December. “If it was predictable, it would be no fun.”
The dystopian series became the biggest show in Netflix’s history, as well as a global pop culture phenomenon, resonating with many viewers
The dystopian series became the biggest show in Netflix’s history, as well as a global pop culture phenomenon, resonating with many. As South Koreans and many around the world grapple with increasing household debt, income inequality and lack of employment, viewers can understand the lure of the game and relate to the characters.
Hwang told CNN that the inspiration for the show came from a very personal experience of the competitive society of today. “This is a story about losers,” he said. “Those who struggle through the challenges of everyday life and get left behind, while the winners level up.”
“I hope there’s some sort of twist that’ll be exciting and surprising for me and the viewers,” Lee said as the show was renewed for a second season earlier this year
Matt Bennett, a philosophy professor at the University of Essex, believes that Squid Game is perhaps at its best when viewed as a critique of meritocracy: a system, organization, or society in which people are chosen and moved into positions of success, power, and influence on the basis of their demonstrated abilities and merit.
Meritocrats believe in fair social competition, a level playing field, and rewards for those talented and industrious enough to rise up the social ladder. But in a competitive society, not everyone has a fair chance of winning.
The dark side of meritocracy is that it justifies inequality on the grounds that the better-off have earned their position, with the implication that the worse off also deserve their lot. Winner takes all, the losers die, and participants have no choice but to play.
We’re very happy for Squid Game’s team as they definitely deserve the recognition and awards. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next season!
We’re very happy for Squid Game’s team as they definitely deserve the recognition and awards. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next season and hope that this is just the beginning of an iconic series.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below—have you been an avid fan of Squid Game? Would you participate in these kinds of games? Always remember to upvote and follow the author as it helps out a lot, and I shall see you all in the next one!