The Netflix drama “Squid Game” made history at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday evening as it became the first non-English series to win an Emmy award.
“People keep telling me I made history,” South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyuk said as he accepted the award for directing in a drama series for “Squid Game.” “But I don’t think I made history by myself because it was you who helped open the door for ‘Squid Game,’ inviting us here to the Emmys. We all made history together.”
The director went on to say that he hoped his series wouldn’t be the last non-English show to win Emmys and “I seriously hope this won’t be my last Emmy either.”
Later in the evening, actor Lee Jung-jae, who portrays Seong Gi-hun in “Squid Game,” won for lead actor in a drama series and he thanked director Dong-hyuk, “for making a realistic problem we all face come to life so creatively on the screen … with amazing visuals.” He went on to thank his family and viewers in Korean.
“The White Lotus” won outstanding limited or anthology series and creator Mike White scored back-to-back awards for directing and writing the series. During his speeches, he thanked his mom for letting him “Be the weird kid I wanted to be” and sent love to his father. He also said that having been on the reality competition show “Survivor,” he didn’t want to be voted off the island.
“I just want to stay in the game,” he said. “Awards are great, I love writing and I love doing what I do, don’t come for me. Don’t vote me off the island, please.”
The predictions were that “Succession,” the most nominated show, would sweep some of the larger categories. It picked up a few more trophies during the televised event, including Jesse Armstrong winning for writing for a drama series category with the “All the Bells Say” episode of the show. It also took home the final award of the evening, outstanding drama series.
“Ted Lasso” won outstanding comedy series, actor Jason Sudeikis won for lead actor in the series and MJ Delaney won outstanding directing for a comedy series for the “No Weddings and a Funeral” episode of the show.
“Thank you so much to the people that watch the show and dig it as much as we dig making it,” Sudeikis said.
Comedian Jerrod Carmichael won for writing a variety special for his HBO special “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel.” He said, “I made something that was of great personal consequence to me.” In the special, Carmichael came out for the first time publicly as gay. “This definitely contributes to the meaning of it,” he continued. “Thank you very much to everybody. I’m gonna go home because I can’t top this right now.”
Actress, writer and producer Quinta Brunson won the award for writing for a comedy series for the pilot episode of “Abbott Elementary,” and became only the second Black woman in Emmys history to win in that category. Jean Smart won outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role as Deborah Vance in the HBO show “Hacks” and Zendaya scored lead actress in a drama series again for her role as Rue Bennett in “Euphoria.” She thanked the crew for making “a safe space” on a “difficult show.” She also thanked the fans for sharing their stories and love for her troubled character. “I want you to know I am so grateful for the stories … I carry them with me and I carry them with her.”
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R&B singer-songwriter John Legend sang his song “Pieces” during the In Memoriam segment of the show, which paid tribute to stars like Dodgers’ announce Vin Scully, “Star Trek” actress Nichelle Nichols, “Golden Girls” Betty White, “Full House” actor and comedian Bob Saget, comedians Gilbert Gottfried and Louie Anderson, “Goodfellas” star Ray Liotta and Sidney Poitier, the first Black actor to win an Academy award for best actor.