‘Squid Game’ creator responds to LeBron James’ critique of show: ‘Have you seen Space Jam 2?’

Hwang Dong-hyuk claps back after hearing that the 17-time NBA All Star didn't like the ending of his Netflix hit.

There’s nothing like a good clapback as LeBron James learned this week. 

After being caught on camera criticizing the Netflix hit, Squid Game, the show’s creator had some choice words for the 17-time NBA All Star.

LeBron James Hwang Dong-hyuk
LeBron James and Hwang Dong-hyuk (Photo: Getty Images)

Orange County Register reporter, Kyle Goon, captured James on camera asking his teammate, Anthony Davis, if he had watched the series. 

“You finish it? You done,” James asks, according to Deadline. Davis confirms that he had completed the popular series, and James responds. 

“I didn’t like the ending though,” James said. “Get on the f–king flight to see your daughter. What are you doing?”

Spoiler alert: James was referring to the ending where the main character, Gi-hun, is supposed to get on a flight to be reunited with his estranged daughter after winning the grand prize in the competition. Instead, he is seen walking away from the plane. 

Squid Game’s creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, when questioned about James’ comments in an interview with The Guardian, quipped, asking the reporter: “Have you seen ‘Space Jam 2?’” 

LeBron James in Space Jam 2
LeBron James in “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

He added, “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.’”

Dong-hyuk told The Guardian that despite creating what is Netflix’s most-streamed show in its history, he didn’t get a bonus, and was paid according to his original contract. He said that the influence of the show, which features cash-strapped people playing children’s games for money, was inspired by his own family’s financial situation after the global recession of 2009. 

“I was very financially straitened because my mother retired from the company she was working for. There was a film I was working on but we failed to get finance. So I couldn’t work for about a year. We had to take out loans – my mother, myself, and my grandmother.”

Dong-hyuk noted that the show’s message about the inequality of capitalism is not “profound” as it has been called. “The show is motivated by a simple idea. We are fighting for our lives in very unequal circumstances,” he said.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!