You’d think that once Squid Game became one of Netflix’s most popular series, its creator, Hwang Dong-Hyuk, would be as wealthy as the person who wins the show’s multibillion-dollar payout. Unfortunately, Hwang recently disclosed that this is not the case.
When the nine-episode dystopian thriller series Squid Game premiered on Netflix last month, it grabbed the streaming world by storm. For those who haven’t seen it yet, the survival programme centres on a competition in which hundreds of financially-strapped contestants compete in a series of children’s games for the chance to win a large cash reward.
However, the competitors are unaware that losing a game might have fatal implications. Squid Game became a bona fide cultural sensation in its first week on the streaming service, and has since been seen by nearly 142 million homes across the world. The event is said to have brought in over 900 million dollars for the firm, according to certain stolen papers.
Despite the fact that Squid Game is a huge moneymaker for Netflix, the show’s creator recently admitted that he isn’t making enough money. Squid Game creator and director Hwang Dong-Hyuk told The Guardian that his smash hit programme has given him “enough to put food on the table.” “It’s not like Netflix is paying me a bonus,” he continued. Netflix honoured my contract and paid me on time.” During the conversation, Hawng also likened the popularity of Netflix’s historical drama Bridgerton to Squid Game.
He dragged the series humorously (and not-so-subtly) by claiming he tried to watch it but gave up halfway through the season. Bridgerton and Squid Game are clearly two very different programmes, but after Squid Game surpassed Bridgerton as Netflix’s most-watched series, many fans were left asking why the creator didn’t make more money. Especially after he lost six teeth due to stress while creating the programme!
It’s no surprise that Dong-Hyuk suffered while making the programme, given the show’s constant gore, brutality, and gloomy satire on capitalism. “It was physically, intellectually, and emotionally taxing,” he added. As we were filming, I continued coming up with new ideas and reworking the episodes, which increased the amount of labour.” Sadly, Squid Game is partially inspired on Hawng’s previous financial difficulties. According to The Guardian, the director’s native nation of Korea was heavily struck by the recession in 2009, requiring him to take out loans merely to feed his family.
QUOTE “If there existed a survival game like this in reality, would I join it to gain money for my family?” Dong-Hyuk questioned during the crisis. As a result, the idea for Squid Game was formed. Fans were naturally upset when they learned of Netflix’s ostensibly unjust deal after the show’s creator went through so much personal pain to get Squid Game to the small screen. “Netflix ought to pay him a hefty bonus,” one admirer said. “Pay that dude a bonus netflix,” one user tweeted. “Apparently, Netflix has not paid a bonus to #SquidGame’s inventor, and that’s BS,” said another enthusiast. Give Hwang Dong-hyuk his money!”
Some fans, on the other hand, believe Hawng’s future contract with Netflix will be considerably more fruitful. “But with the next deal, he’ll earn bank,” one user speculated, possibly pointing to a yet-to-be-confirmed Squid Game season 2. We’re excited to see what this brilliant mind comes up with next, and we hope Dong-Hyuk finally gets paid for his hard work the next time he works with Netflix!
(Image Source: Variety, The Korean Herald)