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‘Squid Game’ actor Lee Jung-Jae becomes first Asian to win ‘Outstanding Lead Actor’ at the Emmys

It was a victorious night to remember for Squid Game at the Emmy’s and for Lee Jung-Jae, who became the first Asian to win ‘Outstanding Lead Actor’.

On Monday evening, it became the first non-English speaking TV series to win a major Primetime Emmy Award. In total, the show came away with five victories, including Hwang Dong-hyuk winning for ‘Best Directing In A Drama Series’ along with Lee’s historic win.

Hwang told the crowd in his acceptance speech: “I actually met with the creator yesterday, and they had many questions for me. What I hope is that they will be carrying on my vision and intention as much as possible for the show. I know that there are some concerns [over] taking the heavy [Squid Game] message and creating it into a reality show with a cash prize. … I would say that reproductions … are going to bring new meaning to the industry, and I hope that this is going to be a great new direction for the industry overall.”

Meanwhile, in Lee’s acceptance speech, he emotionally said: “I’ve been an actor for three decades, and I feel like we go through a huge transition in terms of the industry every decade. In the past, when we would create something Korean and take that overseas, we wanted them to see our story and our culture.

“And I think now … we are living in a world where there is abundant communication with anyone from all around the world, so I feel that if we feel truly in our hearts that something we made is great and very entertaining, that naturally translates overseas, and it is understood and enjoyed anywhere. Now I look forward to any great idea and working on it with a free creativity and free vision so that it can be enjoyed by many people all around the world.”

President Yoon Suk Yeol congratulated the pair on their awards, and wrote on his Facebook page: “Actor Lee Jung-jae’s outstanding acting has brought the character and the viewers’ hearts together.”

Watch Lee’s acceptance speech below.

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