‘Maybe he could make his own sequel’: Creator of Netflix hit ‘Squid Game’ hits back at LeBron James criticism with killer comeback
South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyuk's dystopian drama, which imagines people heavily in debt being given a life-or-death shot at redemption via a series of children's games with deadly consequences for failure, has been a runaway hit on the platform, earning an estimated audience of 111 million people since being released in September.
Los Angeles Lakers talisman James has been among the viewers enthralled by the gripping, grim first series, with only one hitch: the four-time NBA champion did not enjoy the surprise ending dreamed up by Hwang, leaving the door open for a second series.
"Yeah, I did finish it," James was seen saying in the immediate aftermath of a press conference, showing himself in the surprise role of TV critic. "You finish it? You watched it? You done?
🚨🚨🚨spoiler alert🚨🚨🚨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
Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk responds to LeBron's criticism of the show's ending. 👀 pic.twitter.com/DOSxgFcrm8— theScore (@theScore) October 26, 2021
"I didn’t like the ending, though. I know they start it off with a Season 2, but, like, get on the f*cking flight and go see your daughter, bro. Like, what are you doing?"
Hwank imagined 'Squid Game' as a reflection of societal issues in South Korea and globally, and he might well cheerily shrug off James' jibes.
While 'Squid Game' is said to have had a budget of little more than $21 million and has won almost unanimously positive reviews, Space Jam 2, which was co-produced by James and starred the 36-year-old as a version of himself, faced different extremes.
Hwang dong to lebron: pic.twitter.com/NX1AXI0Va8— Pba_Nba_Watcher (@pba_nba_watcher) October 26, 2021
LeBron was right, the ending did suck.— David Foran (@daveforan1973) October 26, 2021
Despite having a budget of around $150 million, the much-anticipated basketball-themed blockbuster earned a negative reception from more than 90% of critics, according to film reviews site Rotten Tomatoes.
A critic for Fox 4 Kansas City said "we just won't go there" when provided with the opportunity to assess James' acting, and a top English analyst called the film "wretched" while admitting he had struggled to stay awake when he saw it.
“Have you seen Space Jam 2?” a laughing Hwang asked the Guardian when he was probed on James' remarks.
Obviously LBJ is misinformed about the show.— Patrick Reikofski 🇺🇸 (@seepat) October 26, 2021
“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.’”
Then Lebron fell on the ground for 8 minutes. pic.twitter.com/dpFh0HyyjP— Muhammad_Molly (@ethizzelle) October 26, 2021
Yeah I understand that. And Bron does bring a lot of things to social media when he doesn’t have too. But it’s not like Bron hated on the show he just questioned why the main character didn’t go see his daughter. I think most people were thinking the same thing.— Cole (@Colesu11y) October 26, 2021
The exchange earned a mixed reaction among fans, with many suggesting that James' words had been misinterpreted and amplified out of proportion.
"He literally only said that because he’s a family man and didn’t want the dude [main character] to pick the Squid Game over his kid or family," said one. "It’s really not that deep, Hwang."
Another may have been referencing James' taste for trumpeting his social justice concerns on his platforms when he argued: "Bron does bring a lot of things to social media when he doesn’t have to.
This whole made-up “controversy”: pic.twitter.com/mWrduqCuRy— Sam Stein (@Samuel_Steinuel) October 26, 2021
This is funny because I couldn’t even get through the 2nd act of Space Jam 2, it was so bad— Fábio Cachão (@FabioCachao) October 26, 2021
"But it’s not like Bron hated on the show – he just questioned why the main character didn’t go see his daughter. I think most people were thinking the same thing."
Others were more succinct and cutting. "LeBron was right," agreed one, adding that "the ending did suck", while another called the forward "misinformed about the show."
Another laughed: "This is funny because I couldn’t even get through the 2nd act of Space Jam 2. It was so bad."Also on rt.com LeBron reacts to ‘haters’ of flop film Space Jam by bragging about box office takings, mocks talk of taking tequila to NBA finals