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Squid Game Player 001 wins as best TV supporting actor at Golden Globes

Oh Young-soo snags award for his supporting role; Squid Game and its lead actor Lee Jung-jae fail to win

By Jan 10, 2022 (Gmt+09:00)

Netflix mega-hit Squid Game’s Oh Young-soo wins best supporting TV actor at the 79th Golden Globe Awards.      (The Golden Globes used an alternate spelling of Oh's name.)
Netflix mega-hit Squid Game’s Oh Young-soo wins best supporting TV actor at the 79th Golden Globe Awards.      (The Golden Globes used an alternate spelling of Oh's name.)

Netflix mega-hit Squid Game’s actor Oh Young-soo, Player 001, has won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role on TV at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, becoming the first South Korean to win in any category at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's (HFPA) annual awards show.

Oh, who plays the role of elderly contestant Oh Il-nam in the Netflix original South Korean drama, bagged the trophy on Sunday, beating global stars such as Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass of The Morning Show, as well as Kieran Culkin of Succession and Brett Goldstein of Ted Lasso.

“I told myself ‘you are a good man’ for the first time in my life,” Oh said after receiving the honor.

“I am grateful to all of you around the world, holding the scent of our culture and deep love of my family. I hope you have a beautiful life. Thank you.”

Squid Game is about 456 cash-strapped players who risk their lives in mysterious survival games that promise a reward of 45.6 billion won ($38 million). In the drama, the 77-year-old actor is secretly behind the deadly contest.
Player 001 Oh Il-nam as played by Oh Young-soo
Player 001 Oh Il-nam as played by Oh Young-soo

Oh has appeared in more than 200 stage productions, including King Lear, since 1963 when he made his debut in a play in South Korea. The veteran actor, a member of the National Theater Company of Korea for 23 years -- from 1987 to 2010 -- is currently appearing in Seoul in the Last Session stage play.


Sandra Oh, a Korean-Canadian, and Awkwafina, a Korean-American, have won prizes from the Golden Globe Awards before, but the Squid Game’s Oh became the first Korean national to earn one. 

The Golden Globes has suffered some controversy of late due to its apparent bias against foreign-language content. South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung, who won as Best Supporting Actress at the 93rd Academy Awards last year, was not even nominated for last year's Golden Globes.

Squid Game lost to Succession in the Best TV Series-Drama category, while its lead actor Lee Jung-jae failed to beat Succession’s Jeremy Strong in the Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series-Drama category.
Scene from Squid Game
Scene from Squid Game

The 79th Golden Globe Awards was not aired on any media but updated only through the official website and social media outlets. NBC, its longtime broadcasting partner, canceled streaming of the award gala due to controversy surrounding HFPA for some members' alleged unethical conduct and suspect financial practices, as well as to protest the lack of diversity in the press organization. Many actors, directors and industry heavyweights also boycotted the ceremony. Netflix did not officially put forward any submissions, and Squid Game’s Lee, Oh as well as director and writer Hwang Dong-hyuk did not attend.

Oh’s award is, however, expected to further enhance the status of K-drama. As Hollywood is already looking for South Korean actors, actresses and directors, a Golden Globe win will shine their light even brighter, experts said.

“It is significant for a South Korean actor to win the award for the first time,” said Won Jong-won, a professor at Soon Chun Hyang University’s College of Media Labs in South Korea. “There are still discriminatory views and barriers that have continued for decades, but will change in a better direction with small changes and cracks.”

Write to Hee-Kyung Kim at

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.
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