Steven Spielberg Slammed For Calling Squid Game Cast ‘Unknown People’, Fans Say ‘They’re Stars In Korea’

Steven Spielberg has come under fire after he reportedly called the cast of Squid Game ‘unknown people.’ The West Side Story director was speaking at a panel during the PGA Awards Zanuck Award when he was highlighting the importance of movie stars in casting and mentioned the hit Netflix K-drama. According to Deadline, Spielberg credited Squid Game for ‘changing the math’ with regard to digital streaming for everyone and then described them as ‘unknown people.’

It is to note that Squid Games features a stellar star cast. With Lee Jung-jae in the lead, the series also stars Jung Ho-yeon, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, Kim Joo-ryoung, Heo Sung-tae, Oh Young-soo, Lee Yoo-mi, Anupam Tripathi and Gong Yoo, among many others in crucial roles. Most of these actors have been in the industry for several years now, having won numerous awards and recognition.

Spielberg, speaking at the panel, said, “Squid Game comes along and changes the math entirely for all of us.” The ace filmmaker pointed out the cyclical nature of the star system and credited the digital streaming world for presenting opportunities for ‘unknown actors to anchor series’. “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,” Spielberg said. His comment has received flak from Twitter users.

Many users responded to articles on Spielberg’s speech and expressed their disappointment. “Unknown? They’re stars in Korea. Not everything is about American actors,” a Twitter user pointed out. “Damn, didn’t realize being one of the biggest celebrities in South Korea is considered as being ‘unknown,'” another tweet read, referring to Lee Jung-jae.

“I think that if actors you call “unknown” aren’t part of your culture, or that you lack multicultural exposure, heck, can’t even google who they are, then you shouldn’t have an opinion of whether they’re known or not,” an angry user said. “Squid game actors aren’t unknown. Stephen Spielberg and others just don’t know them because they don’t know Korean entertainment. Some of the actors, esp Lee Jung Jae, are well-known in Korea and Asia. The use of the “unknown” word and the comment is just too much,” a fan tweeted.

Squid Game emerged as one of the most-watched series on Netflix last year. Besides Squid Game, fans have also been drawn towards several other K-dramas since the pandemic set in.

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