The director of hit Netflix series ‘Squid Game’, Hwang Dong-hyuk, and lead actor Lee Jung-jae continued their winning streak with their latest honour.
President Yoon Suk-yeol presented both stars with the Geumgwan Order of Cultural Merit, which is South Korea’s highest national cultural medal, in a Seoul ceremony, Yonhap News Agency reported.
‘Squid Game’ is a dystopian series where debt-ridden contestants compete in a sadistic game to win a large sum of money. It took the streaming site by storm when it released in September 2021, and remains Netflix’s most-watched series.
Its appeal has been so wide, it even led to nominations for Hwang and Lee at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles this year. They eventually won for best director and best actor in a drama series, respectively. Lee’s best actor award made him the first non-English-language performer to win in that category at the Emmys.
During his acceptance speech, Lee said, “Thank you to the Television Academy, thank you to Netflix and thank you to the director for making realistic problems we all face come to life so creatively on the screen with a great script. Thank you, ‘Squid Game’ team. Thank you to everyone watching in Korea.”
Hwang is currently working on the second season of ‘Squid Game’.
In a note tweeted by Netflix in June, the director addressed the viral fame of his show and thanked fans for their love.
The post read: “Hwang Dong-Hyuk writer, director, producer, and creator of @squidgame has a message for the fans: The message reads, ‘It took 12 years to bring the first season of Squid Game to life last year. But it took 12 days for Squid Game to become the most popular Netflix series ever. As the writer, director, and producer of Squid Game, a huge shout out to fans around the world. Thank you for watching and loving our show. And now, Gi-hun returns. The Front Man returns. Season 2 is coming. The man in the suit with ddakji might be back. You’ll also be introduced to Young-hee’s boyfriend Cheoul-su.”