Washington (US): The Korean-language survival drama ‘Squid Game’, which became one of the most-watched Netflix series of all time, is now eligible for Primetime Emmy consideration. The Television Academy confirmed to Variety that because ‘Squid Game’ was produced under guidance from Netflix, which is an American company, and it was always intended to be distributed in the US, it can enter the Primetime Emmy race.
Since ‘Squid Game’ was produced internationally, it is eligible to enter the International Emmys as well. The series cannot, however, enter both the races and has a decision to make. The Los Angeles-based TV Academy and the New York-based International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences have rules preventing Emmy double-dipping.
The specific rule from the TV Academy states : “Foreign television production is ineligible unless it is the result of a co-production (both financially and creatively) between US and foreign partners, which precedes the start of production, and with a purpose to be shown on US television.” It further adds that “The producer of any production produced in the US or outside the US as a co-production between the US and foreign partners, in a language that is substantially (i.e. 50 per cent or more) in a language other than English, shall have the discretion to enter the production and its individual achievements in any category where they are eligible in the Primetime Emmy Awards competition or in the awards competition of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, but not both.”
Fans are already filled with excitement with the possibility of ‘Squid Game’ becoming TV’s version of ‘Parasite’ – another unexpected smash from Korea that utilized violence to tell a tale about class divisions and breaking a new ground at the Oscars.
In 2020, ‘Parasite’ became the first non-English film to receive the best picture Academy Award. There’s also the issue of content – ‘Squid Game’ is ultraviolent, and although TV Academy voters have become more open to the genre (‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Lovecraft Country’, ‘Watchmen’), it’s still rare.
Netflix might test the Emmy waters by first entering ‘Squid Game’ into the winter awards season races, where it is eligible. That includes the SAG Awards, Critics Choice Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and other guild awards, solely depending on eligibility. Television is quickly turning global, and the expansion of the US-owned streamers around the world and into local non-English production such as ‘Squid Game’ is about to make things much more complicated for the Television Academy.