Squid Game Star Facing Sexual Misconduct Charges

Oh Yeong-su of Squid Game fame is being charged with sexual misconduct.

By Phillip Moyer | Published

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Oh Yeong-su, the Golden Globe-winning actor who played the elderly Oh Il-Nam in Netflix’s hit series Squid Game, has been hit with sexual misconduct charges. According to a report by the Korea JoonAng Daily, Oh Yeong-su is accused of inappropriately touching a woman back in 2017. 

According to the report, the woman filed a complaint against Oh Yeong-su in December 2021 — two months after Squid Game was released. Police chose not to press any charges in April 2022 but later chose to indict Oh Yeong-su after the woman appealed the decision. Oh Yeong-su, for his part, denies the allegations, claiming that he only showed the woman around a lake while holding her hands. He added that while he apologized to the woman in 2021, the apology was not an admission of guilt.

These allegations against the Squid Game actor come as similar sexual misconduct allegations continue to roil the film and TV industries. In the past three months alone, allegations have been made against actor Gary Busey and producer Eric Weinberg, while new charges have been filed against embattled actor Kevin Spacey

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While Oh Yeong-su’s role in Squid Game brought him to the limelight, he has been acting since 2002, when he played the Temple Master in the Korean film A Little Monk. His involvement in the Korean film industry goes even further back. He wrote the script for the 1965 film Seashore Village, along with the 1975 film Annaui Yuseo.

Oh Yeong-su’s character appeared to be killed off-screen at the end of Squid Game‘s first season, leading up to a shocking season-ending twist. He has since spoken about the upcoming Season 2. In an interview, the 78-year-old actor revealed that while the first season featured games that he had played as a child, the next season will feature childhood games played by 51-year-old director Hwang Dong-Hyuk.

Squid Games was a massive success for Netflix. It clocked in more than three billion minutes of watch time the first week after its release, making its renewal for season two a no-brainer for the streaming giant. What’s more, talks were ongoing for season 3 began long before season 2 was greenlit. The series was so successful that the first season was released in theaters, a movie is rumored to be in development, and the possibility of a theme park has even been discussed. A real-life version of Squid Game has also been green-lit for Netflix (minus the threat of gruesome death, of course).

The series’ success has led to some more grisly news as well. A man who smuggled digital copies of Squid Game into North Korea was sentenced to death in 2021. The unnamed smuggler, who reportedly sold a USB stick containing the film to a high school student in North Hamgyong, was caught after the student shared the USB drive with his friends. The student was reportedly sentenced to life imprisonment.

Netflix’s capitalization on the success of Squid Game comes as the company faces hardships. The company’s growth stalled at the beginning of 2022, losing users for the first time and erasing 50% of the company’s market value. It remains to be seen whether continuing to push Squid Game will help the streaming giant bounce back.