Steven Spielberg Sparks Backlash for Comments on ‘Unknown’ Squid Game Stars

West Side Story helmer Steven Spielberg has found himself at the subject of some controversy on social media. Recently, Spielberg appeared at the PGA Awards, where he spoke about the popular Netflix series Squid Game. The world-famous director applauded Netflix for casting the South Korean show with “unknown” actors rather than going back to the well with some of the more well-known names in Hollywood. Spielberg also noted how casting Squid Game this way helped change the game moving forward by proving that a film or series can be a big success without widely-known actors in lead roles.


Squid Game comes along and changes the math entirely for all of us. Thank you, Ted [Sarandos]”Spielberg said at the event, per Deadline. “A long time ago it was domestic stars that brought the audience into movies. Today, it’s interesting, unknown people can star entire miniseries, can be in movies.”

Clearly, Spielberg had good intentions, but many fans of Squid Game’s stars have taken great exception to the director referring to them as “unknown” actors. The comments have gone viral, with many pointing out that the actors are more established than they’re getting credit for. Even if they had not been as widely known in the United States as someone like The Rock or Angelina Jolie, many of these actors have done a lot of great work elsewhere that has already given them fan bases of their own worldwide.

“Even if you’re pointing at the female lead & your point is to say ‘not only big names can lead successful shows’ You should not use ‘unknown’ Steven! There’re globally known bright stars with long full of success career appearing in the show you mentioned, “reads one tweet, linking to a Twitter thread about Squid Game star Gong Yoo’s acclaimed film Silenced.

“Unknown? They’re stars in Korea. Not everything is about American actors,” reads another tweet, which has been liked more than 8,000 times.

Another person stated, “‘unknown people,’ squid game had some of the most well known korean actors and one of the biggest models in the industry. just because they aren’t US famous does not make them ‘unknown.’ “

“I swear but I am truly embarrassed by my race sometimes,” says someone else. “Like what the actual hell? Just because Steven Spielberg is uncultured does not mean the rest of us are. Lee Jung Jae unknown? GTFOH.”

Related: Here’s Why ET is Still One of Steven Spielberg’s Best Movies Of All Time

Squid Game Has a Second Season Coming to Netflix

Squid Game: Season 2 Cast, Plot, and Everything Else We Know

Series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk was also at the PGA Awards, where he addressed the show’s upcoming second season. Dong-hyuk could not be specific about any plot details but was able to give a promising update to tease fans that there’s some exciting stories in store for fans with season 2.

“There will be more great games, that’s all I can say,” he said, admitting that the brainstorming process is still underway. “I’m just still brainstorming and collecting the ideas for season 2. I haven’t even started with the writing yet.”

Season 2 does not have a release date, but you can watch the first season of Squid Game on Netflix.

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