Squid Game made history at the 2022 Emmy Awards after the show's lead actor Lee Jung-jae and director Hwang Dong-hyuk bagged awards at the awarding ceremony.
Jung-jae became the first Asian actor to be awarded the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the Emmys. The Korean actor plays the role of Gi Hun in Squid Game.
He bested other nominees including Jason Bateman of Ozark, Brian Cox of Succession, Bob Odenkirk of Better Call Saul, Adam Scott of Severance, and Jeremy Strong of Succession.
In his speech, Jung-jae extended his gratitude to everyone who made the show possible.
"Thank you so much. First, I would like to thank God above. And thank you to the Television Academy and thank you to Netflix. And thank you to director Hwang for making realistic problems we all face come to life so creatively on the screen with great script and amazing visuals, thank you. Thank you Squid Game teams. To everyone watching from Korea, my friends, family, and dearest fans, I want to share this joy with you. Thank you,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Dong-hyuk bagged the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series award besting Jason Bateman of Ozark, Ben Stiller of Severance, Mark Mylod, Cathy Yan and Lorene Scafaria of Succession, and Karyn Kusama of Yellowjackets. Dong-hyuk's win marked the first time that a non-English drama was given the award.
The director attributed the success of the show to those who watched and supported the series that paved the way for them to be at the Emmys.
"People keep telling me that I made history, but I don’t think I made history by myself because it was you who opened up the doors for Squid Game, inviting us here tonight at the Emmys. I have to say we all made history together. I truly hope that Squid Game won’t be the last non-English series to be here at the Emmys, and I also hope this won’t be my last Emmy either. I’ll be back with Season 2," he stated.
Squid Game received 14 nominations at the Emmys this year.
Aside from the Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series nominations, the Korean series was also nominated for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Jung Ho-yeon), Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Park Hae-soo and Oh Yeong-su), Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (for Lee You-mi), Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More), Outstanding Stunt Performance, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour), and Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Single Episode.
Squid Game premiered on Netflix globally on September 17, 2021.
The series tells the story of a group of people who joined a survival game to win billions of won in prize money.
The show made history as it set a new Netflix record for any series on the streaming platform in its initial debut. The series reached 111 million fans in a span of 25 days since its premiere date.