According to Korean media outlet Soompi, Lee’s agency, Artist Company, on Wednesday issued a statement announcing the news.
“He is immensely grateful to have been nominated in the Best Actor category at the Golden Globes, but he has decided not to attend the ceremony. He recognizes that Netflix is not participating in the Golden Globes, as has been widely reported around the world,” the agency said on Lee’s behalf.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which conducts the Golden Globes, came under public scrutiny over its racially homogenous makeup, as well as alleged corruption following a bombshell Los Angeles Times investigation in early 2021. Top Hollywood stars, including Tom Cruise, and many big companies have publicly boycotted the awards show.
Lee’s agency further said factors like the COVID-19 situation and the quarantine requirements also contributed to the actor pulling out from the event.
The 49-year-old actor, a massive star in native South Korea courtesy of K-dramas like “Chief of Staff” and films “Along With the Gods” series, “The Face Reader” and “The Housemaid”, gained international prominence following the debut of “Squid Game” on September 17, 2021.
Lee, who played Seong Gi-hun aka player 456 who emerges winner by the end of the show, is nominated alongside Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong (“Succession”), Billy Porter (“Pose”), and Omar Sy (“Lupin”) in the best performance by an actor in a television series – drama category at the Globes.
As per Netflix, ‘Squid Game’ became its “biggest series launch” till date after the Korean language survival drama hit the mark of 111 million views in less than a month since its debut.
O Yeong-su, who essayed the elderly player no 001 in “Squid Game”, has also earned a Golden Globe nod in the best supporting actor – television category. Directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series is nominated for best television series – drama as well.
Hwang recently said that “Squid Game” will return for a second season and a potential third chapter. Netflix is yet to officially greenlight either of the seasons.