Some interpreted what Steven Spielberg seemed to say about “Squid Game” actors as offensive. “Talking about foreigners as ‘unknown people’ is highly disrespectful. I can bet that we would not be thrilled to be called like that in others countries outside the US.” tweeted one. While another person noted that his words were perhaps not deliberately hurtful, but that they still had that result. “The point is that he has, albeit unintentionally, downgraded the acting world beyond America. Indeed, in Korea, many actors and actresses have genuine emotional dynamism, sincerity and credibility that are at least the equal of anything found in the west.”
But others saw it as a commentary on how the American viewing audience was changing and for the better. Someone tweeted that people weren’t paying attention to the first part of the quote, and said that he was “literally praising that foreign stars can anchor domestic hits now. Everyone calm THEE F down.” They weren’t the only ones. Another tweet in support of Spielberg acknowledged that it was reductive to just focus on Spielberg referring to “Squid Game” cast as unknown, and that while the actors weren’t unknown to audiences in Asia, “[…] they were mostly unknown to domestic audiences, but the series still was heavily viewed despite this, he has a point.” Spielberg, as of this writing, has not publicly commented on the internet uproar.