Actor O Yeong-su has become the first Korean actor to clinch a Golden Globe Award for his role in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series, “Squid Game.”
|Actor O Yeong-su performs during Netflix’s original series, “Squid Game.” Courtesy of Netflix|
During the 79th Golden Globe Awards, held behind closed doors without a broadcaster or streaming on Jan. 9 (PST), the actor won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role on Television.
The smash-hit series become the first Korean series to earn three nominations at the Golden Globe Awards: Best Television Series, Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series for Lee Jung-jae, and Best Supporting Actor for O.
HBO’s comedy drama, “Succession,” won the Best Television Series and its actor, Jeremy Strong, won the Best Actor award.
Jung Duk-hyun, a pop culture critic, noted that the series’ Golden Globes nominations itself have earned recognition for the Korean series.
“The fact that it was nominated (for the Golden Globes) in three categories has a huge meaning. Korean content used to be consumed by a specific group of fans,” Jung told The Korea Times, Monday. “But last year, ‘Squid Game’ brought K-content to the global stage and allowed it to become universal. In that sense, it is such a meaningful series, and the Golden Globes has responded to that.”
The dystopian series, directed by filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk, stirred up a global sensation, as the streaming service’s most-watched series of all time, garnering a total of 1.65 billion hours of streaming in the first four weeks of release.
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The nine-part series topped the service’s global top 10 streaming chart for 46 consecutive days since it launched on Sep. 17. The number of subscribers who streamed the series within four weeks of its release was 111 million.
It also created a global craze for the props and games featured in the series, including “red light, green light” and the dalgona candy game.
Its record-breaking run has earned the series a number of awards and nominations at prestigious awards in the United States, including the Gotham Awards and the Golden Globes.
The suspense thriller, about cash-strapped people playing deadly Korean children’s games for an enormous prize, garnered praise for its compelling twists in the plot and strong performances from its characters, with emotional subplots, touching on various issues, like socio-economic inequality.
|A scene from “Squid Game” / Courtesy of Netflix|
Jung noted that the series’ debut on Netflix was the key factor that allowed the series to appeal to audiences overseas.
“‘Squid Game’ streaming on OTT platform Netflix played a great role (in its success). The series took the very elements that are original to K-content, and made them into a universal genre,” the pop culture critic said.
“So it clicked well with (Netflix’s) desire to present a piece that will appeal to its audience globally while also having local elements. And the K-content was the perfect fit for that. Frankly, the huge success behind ‘Squid Game’ might not have been possible if it weren’t for Netflix as its platform.”
Following its global success, “Squid Game” has been renewed for a second season and is also in talks for a third season, according to the director’s recent interview with local broadcaster KBS.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held in a much toned-down manner this year, following issues over the lack of racial diversity in its voting body and ethical lapses that surfaced last year.
A number of top studios, PR firms and acclaimed actors have distanced themselves from the awards. Tom Cruise even returned his three Golden Globes trophies to the association’s headquarters.