Squid Game Director Speaks Out Following Misogyny Accusations
Squid Game: It’s the show everyone’s been talking about, bagging the number one spot on Netflix and hooking in viewers since landing on the platform last month. Although, amid glowing reviews and TikTok trends, it seems the show hasn’t entirely escaped criticism.
The smash-hit K-drama centres on a group of debt-ridden people who get invited to compete in seemingly innocent childhood games to win a large sum of money. Things quickly take a sinister turn, however, once it becomes clear that those eliminated don’t just get sent home with their head down: they get killed.
The nine-episode dystopian series has gone on to garner critical acclaim among international audiences, earning an impressive 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and keeping everyone glued to their screens in the process.
However, some viewers of the show aren’t so impressed, with many calling out the show’s depiction of women, in particular, the way the character of Han Min-yeo (Kim Joo-ryoung) is portrayed in the show.
At one point, Min-yeo is seen having sex with notorious gangster Jang Deok-su (Heo Sung-tae), seemingly in an attempt to elevate her position in the game – a storyline some viewers are branding as misogynistic.
Another part of the show to receive similar criticisms is when mask-clad ‘VIPs’ turn up to watch the game and place bets on the players. Viewers were quick to spot the grand room in which they reside features statues of naked figures, which some accused of being exclusively female, blasting the decision as objectifying.
Others have more general criticisms, including the fact female players are deemed to be weaker at the games.
Squid Game‘s director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, has since defended these storylines, fending off accusations of misogyny. Addressing Min-yeo’s character specifically, he explained the sex scene in question was included to ‘show the actions of someone that can do anything (to survive) in an extreme situation,’ as per Koreaboo.
‘I thought that it was an action that a human would do when placed in the worst situation’, he added.
Moving onto the issue of the X-rated figures, Dong-hyuk explained:
I thought that it was a show of those with power and just how far they would belittle other humans. Not all the painted figures were female.
Every VIP would have had a female and a male next to them like a figure. It’s not accurate to say that it is an objectification of women. I used body painting to show how the VIPs objectify humans.
Ahead of its drop on Netflix, Dong-hyuk spoke about the show at a press conference, saying it highlights the irony of ‘the capitalist society we all live in’.
Squid Game is streaming on Netflix now.
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