LeBron James was critical of the popular Netflix series Squid Game earlier this month, calling the ending a disappointment. He didn’t precisely say that, but his exact words did manage to tick off Hwang Dong-hyuk, the show’s creator.
Here’s what LeBron actually had to say:
“I didn’t like the ending,” James said to Lakers co-star Anthony Davis following a postgame interview. “Get on the flight and go see your daughter. Like what are you doing?”
Spoiler alert: the protagonist wins the deadly survival contest for a grand prize and then elects not to return to see his daughter. LeBron clearly understands the cameras are still rolling as he’s just making his exit, so what better time is there for free publicity?
He gets a jab off to sound like even more of a family man. Not saying LeBron isn’t a fantastic father because he very much seems to be. However, this public jab was unnecessary.
LeBron and AD discuss their thoughts on Squid Game and I briefly lose my professionalism pic.twitter.com/HWP1tHi8oK
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 13, 2021
Hwang Dong-hyuk apparently got ahold of this footage and decided to bite back.
“Have you seen Space Jam 2?” Dong-hyuk asked during an interview with the Guardian. “LeBron James is cool and can say what he wants. I respect that. I’m very thankful he watched the whole series. But I wouldn’t change my ending. That’s my ending. If he has his own ending that would satisfy him, maybe he could make his own sequel? I’ll check it out and maybe send him a message saying, ‘I liked your whole show, except the ending.'”
His response really deals with how annoying critics are in general. Critics like LeBron James, or anyone else for that matter, never hesitate to pan a product, yet they have zero desire to do better themselves. This doesn’t necessarily mean we have to be able to do better before we criticize since that would make for a boring society, but we at least have to be willing face a response when we don’t. LeBron got that response and quickly turned into a harmless victim.
This can’t be real right??!! I hope not 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/IGbqEvFGud
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 26, 2021
LeBron has over 50 million Twitter followers and is nearing 100 million on Instagram, so everything he says is plastered for billions to see. It’s highly likely Dong-hyuk has been criticized before, considering the fact he conceptualized Squid Game back in 2008, which proves this issue is more about the messenger.
King James, we should all remember, turned his divorce from the Cleveland Cavaliers back in the summer of 2010 into a nationally televised circus and faced plenty criticism himself. His defense was that he made a decision that was beneficial to his family and basketball future. That’s exactly what Hwang Dong-hyuk is doing by defending himself, isn’t he? He wrote a finale for season 1 that best illustrated his vision for the show, and he isn’t going to allow some famous basketball player change it. I mean, who isn’t defensive about art they spent a decade creating?
Did Dong-hyuk have to respond? Probably not, but some people are getting far too comfortable with their criticism these days. We need to normalize that if you can pop off about someone’s product, the very least you can do is face a response.
Season 2 of Squid Game hasn’t been locked in just yet, but we have a pretty good idea LeBron’s critique won’t impact the way it ends.