top of page

South Korean Netizens Outraged Over Racist Undertones in "Squid Game Parody" on SNL America

Squid Game has become a huge global phenomenon, but that doesn't mean it's safe from racism.

The South Korean Netflix original series titled Squid Game premiered on September 17, and has since taken the world by thunder storm.

While the unique plot shined the spotlight on the raw and realistic financial struggles of a large portion of humanity, it also put emotional battles and how people grapple with them under the microscope for the whole world to see.

Squid Game
Squid Game cast | Image Courtesy of Netflix

As Seong Gi Hun (Lee Jung Jae), Cho Sang Woo (Park Hae Soo), Kang Sae Byeok (Jung Ho Yeon), Ali (Anupam Tripathi), and Ji Yeong (Lee Yoo Mi) risked their lives by playing danger-injected children's games, the grand prize of 45.6 billion won waited patiently for them in a colossal clear piggybank suspended from the ceiling of their mysterious quarters.

Given the international success of the Asian series, SNL America jumped at the chance to include it in their parody. SNL (Saturday Night Live) is a popular comedy show that gathers comedians and celebrities to participate in comedic skits for entertainment purposes. Also known for their hilarious parodies, this particular one seemed to be free of the funny and quite heavy on the racism.

SNL America's Controversial Squid Game Parody

When the American TV series purposely mis-converted South Korean won (KRW) to US dollar (USD), it was the beginning of online chaos, as the joke did not sit well with South Korean viewers. The American TV show was battered with backlash from people who found discriminatory offense in the parody.

Squid Game Parody | Image from SNL

In the skit, one of the contestants takes to Google to convert the prize money from KRW to USD. The actor looked up the sum of 4 billion KRW ($3.38 million), while the sum in the K-Drama was actually 45.6 billion KRW ($38.6 million).

This wasn't exactly the problem though. The drama went down when they provided an inaccurate conversion. According to the SNL parody, 4 billion KRW was converted to $47.89, a far cry from the correct calculation of $3.38 million.

Based on comments found on theqoo, outrage was sparked with South Korean viewers, expressing dismay for the occurrence:

  • “That’s just long-standing discrimination by treating us like a lesser country.”

  • “I thought this was discrimination too…”

  • “I don’t know why they included that.. it’s not even real conversion rates.”

  • Are they crazy? Our currency and USD doesn’t have much difference anyway.”

  • “Did our country suddenly have some large inflation I didn’t know about? They don’t want to get rid of their discrimination but they want to ride on our popularity, it’s so obvious. I’ll give you $48 so give me that money.”

  • “Are they kidding?? I’m so upset. Such ignorant people.”

  • “This got blown up cuz people overseas that watched this were saying it’s a pity and all that. That speaks for itself already.”

  • "Because they are a bit ignorant in the first place...well..."

In the midst of a #StopAsianHate era, the seemingly harmless joke did more damage than it solicited laughter. So, is this actually just an innocent parody derived from the biggest TV series in the world, or is it another jab at Asian culture?

Squid Game
Squid Game | Image Courtesy of Netflix


Source: Theqoo

69 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page