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Emmys: Squid Game’s Lee Jung-Jae creates history

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Los Angeles: Lee Jung-jae became the first Asian actor ever to win an Emmy award for Best Actor in a Drama as he took home this year’s Emmys for his performance in “Squid Game”.

“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,” he said after accepting his award before switching to Korean.

He was only the fourth Asian actor ever to win in any of the Emmy performance categories, and the first to win the drama award for a non-English speaking role, the variety.com reported.

At the ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday, Lee was named Outstanding Lead Actor In a Drama Series beating a tough slate of competitors including Bob Odenkirk of “Better Call Saul”, Jason Bateman of “Ozark”, Adam Scott of “Severance”, and Succession’s Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong.

Lee earned his nomination after his breakout role in Netflix’s surprise hit “Squid Game”.

The series premiered on the streaming service last September. Upon a successful showing, the South Korean drama was renewed for Season 2 in June. This is the “Hunt” director’s first Emmy nomination.

“Squid Game” has received 14 total Emmy nominations this year, and took home four Emmy awards at this year’s Creative Arts Emmy’s earlier this month. Most notably, actress Lee You-mi took home a gold statue for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series for her role as Ji-yeong.

“Squid Game” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk was awarded best director for a drama series at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards.

Hwang, who produced, wrote and directed the global sensation survival drama, took home the prize of Outstanding Directing and Writing For a Drama Series for the Netflix series’ first episode, “Red Light, Green Light”.

He was up against Mark Mylod, Cathy Yan and Lorene Scafaria of “Succession,” Ben Stiller of “Severance,” Jason Bateman of “Ozark,” and Karyn Kusama of “Yellowjackets”.

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