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Steven Spielberg Called Out After Describing ‘Squid Game’ Cast as Unknown People

Steven Spielberg Squid Game
Credit: Getty Images, The Hollywood Reporter

Steven Spielberg is getting major backlash for comments he made about the South Korean actors on the Netflix series Squid Game.

During a Producers Guild of America Awards, the critically acclaimed director praised Netflix for giving “unknown performers” the opportunity to lead its shows.

Spielberg said: “A long time ago, it was domestic stars that brought the audience into movies. Today, it’s interesting, unknown people can star in entire miniseries and can be in movies.“ He added, “Squid Game comes along and changes the math entirely for all of us,” as he thanked Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

Spielberg was heavily criticized on the social media, with many pointing out that the show’s cast members have been in the South Korean entertainment industry for quite some time.

Steven Spielberg squid game
Credit: tvN, iHQ

The show’s lead actor, Lee Jung Jae, has starred in numerous legendary TV shows and films, including the thriller The Housemaid, and Park Hae Soo has made a name for himself in many popular Korean TV dramas like Prison Playbook.

On Twitter, the director was called out for making disparaging remarks about the cast of the Netflix series.

Someone tweeted, “Americans always think the world doesn’t exist outside of America. They think everyone worships us when in reality they laugh at us. Actors, singers, politicians, scientists, doctors, lawyers, CEOs all exist in other countries. Stop being so ignorant.”

“Correction: ‘Squid Game’ proves that Hollywood has been waaayyyyyy behind in recognizing and celebrating longstanding S. Korean Film/TV storytelling and talent,” another wrote.

One user added, “Argggg more ethnocentrism courtesy of Americans who can’t see past their own borders. What series like Squid Game illustrate is exactly the opposite: that people around the world are satisfied with content other than English/white/US entertainment,”

“Folks, today’s whitest take, brought to you by Mr. Steven Spielberg and the LITERAL all-star cast of Squid Game,” some pointed out.

One viewer jokingly said, ”‘Only unknown because they aren’t in my country’s media’ Stephen, i know you’re busy. But a simple Google search for the shows imdb[.com entry] could easily have avoided that faux-pas.”

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