Spielberg Takes Flak for Squid Game Remarks

He said it starred 'unknown actors'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2022 12:07 PM CDT
Spielberg Slammed for Calling Squid Game Cast 'Unknowns'
Steven Spielberg presents the Milestone Award at the 33rd annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Steven Spielberg is taking flak for describing Squid Game as a series starring "unknown actors"—which is a bit like a South Korean director saying Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan starred unknown actors like Tom Hanks and Matt Damon. Spielberg told a Producers Guild of American panel over the weekend that the Netflix hit—which stars well-known South Korean actors—marked a change from the days when stars "brought the audience into movies," the New York Post reports. He praised Netflix for giving the "unknown actors" a chance and said the massive success of Squid Game shows "unknown people can star [in] entire miniseries, can be in movies."

The stars of Squid Game include Lee Jung-jae, who has been one of South Korea's most successful actors for decades. Critics slammed Spielberg for what appeared to be a very US-centric view. "Folks, today’s whitest take, brought to you by Mr. Steven Spielberg and the LITERAL all-star cast of Squid Game," one critic tweeted. Spielberg hasn't clarified his remarks yet, and some of his defenders say that while his choice of words wasn't great, he may have been trying to make the point that Hollywood stars are no longer required to attract the attention of Western audiences, Screen Rant notes. (Read more Squid Game stories.)

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