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‘Squid Game' is already making awards show history

All signs are pointing to “Squid Game” being a major Emmy contender later this year.
Since premiering on Netflix in September 2021, “Squid Game” has emerged as a global phenomenon and is now making awards show history.
Since premiering on Netflix in September 2021, “Squid Game” has emerged as a global phenomenon and is now making awards show history. Netflix

Netflix’s blockbuster original show “Squid Game” has made history at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards by becoming the first non-English-language series and first Korean series to score a nomination. “Squid Game” is up for outstanding cast in a drama series opposite “Succession,” “Yellowstone,” “The Morning Show” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The show also picked up nominations for actor in a drama series (Lee Jung-jae), actress in a drama series (Jung Ho-yeon), and stunt ensemble.

Since premiering on Netflix in September 2021, “Squid Game” has emerged as a global phenomenon. The drama pulled in 1.65 billion hours of viewing during its first four weeks of release, surpassing “Bridgerton” as the most-watched Netflix original series in history. The show landed three Golden Globe Awards, including best television drama, and earned O Yeong-su a supporting actor prize. “Squid Game” also boasts three Critics Choice Awards nominations and a Gotham Award win for breakthrough series.

“As the director of ‘Squid Game,’ today has to be the happiest moment. I am reminded of all the days spent on first meetings with the cast, the auditions, visiting theaters to see their performances, the script readings, rehearsals and the days on set,” Hwang Dong-hyuk said in a statement. “I want to truly thank not only the cast who have been nominated today but also all of the supporting and the near-300 background talent. ‘Squid Game’ would never have been what it became without the devotion and hard work of every single one of you. You deserve all the glory and credit.”

Jung Ho-yeon said of her nomination: “I am truly excited for the best ensemble nomination, which has made all of our team’s time spent together on ‘Squid Game’ even more valuable. Working on this series, and acting for the first time, I thought about how creating something ‘together,’ and ‘as an ensemble’ just might be the true value of our society. I feel empowered to be reminded of how ‘together’ is more precious than a solo achievement. I am truly grateful! I’m also reminded of our best stunt team, being nominated for the best stunt ensemble nomination. I send all the love and thanks to the best stunt team ever who made sure all of us were safe on the set.”

South Korean entertainment has made great strides at the SAG Awards over the last few years. Bong Joon Ho’s drama film “Parasite” won the 2020 SAG Award for cast in a motion picture, becoming the first non-English-language film ensemble to win the top prize. At last year’s SAG Awards, “Minari” favorite Youn Yuh-jung became the first Korean actress to ever win the supporting prize.

With major nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and Critics Choice Awards, “Squid Game” is positioning itself as a major Emmy contender later this year. Netflix has yet to officially announce a second season of the hit show, but creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has teased that he already has a few ideas up his sleeve for where the show goes next.

The first season of “Squid Game” is streaming in its entirety on Netflix. The 2022 SAG Awards ceremony is set for Feb. 27.