Asia Minute: South Korea’s soft power wave sweeps through Emmys
South Korea marked another global pop culture milestone this week. The Netflix television series “Squid Game” took half a dozen Emmy Awards — including best dramatic actor and best dramatic director.
This is the first time that any actor, director or series working in a language other than English has won an Emmy.
Two years ago, the South Korean social satire “Parasite” became the first non-English language movie to win the Oscar for best picture.
Last year, South Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn won best supporting actress for her role in “Minari” — about Korean immigrants trying to make a living in Arkansas in the 1980s.
Critics say the soft power of the Korean wave connects global audiences with current social concerns — Squid Game blisters in its criticism of capitalism’s widening gap of economic inequality.
"Parasite" and "Minari" took on similar societal themes in different ways.
A current hit on Netflix uses humor and compassion to tell the story of a young lawyer who’s on the autism spectrum — “Extraordinary Attorney Woo.”
On a different level, the durable popularity of K-pop groups including BTS continues to echo around the world.
And other hits are coming: this year, the drama “Decision to Leave” is up for an Oscar — Park Chan-wook has already won the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival.