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Squid Game's Lee Jung-Jae Just Made Emmys History With His Big Win

"Squid Game," the international sensation that was produced in South Korea, continued adding to its impressive list of accomplishments at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards. It already made history back when it was nominated for best drama, becoming the first non-English show to be nominated in this category ever (per NBC News), but the good news didn't stop there for fans of the Netflix show, which will be returning for a second season.

At the awards ceremony held on September 12, "Squid Game" director Hwang Dong-hyuk took home the award for best director for the episode "Red Light, Green Light." Additionally, and perhaps even more surprisingly, Lee Jung-jae, who played lead character Seong Gi-hun, took home the Best Actor award in a drama series. Obviously, this is a big win for Netflix, "Squid Game," and for the future of non-English shows at the Emmys, but it's also something much bigger than that. In fact, Jung-jae's win especially made Emmys history for one particular reason, and it's a pretty big deal.

Lee Jung-jae is the first Asian actor to ever win the award

Per Variety's Twitter account, Lee Jung-jae's big win for best actor for a drama series is the first time in Emmys history that an Asian actor has taken home the award. Beyond that, he's only the fourth ever Asian actor to take home an acting Emmy period, which makes it that much more equal parts incredible and surprising. In a stacked field of contenders that included actors like Bob Odenkirk ("Better Call Saul"), Jason Bateman ("Ozark"), and Brian Cox ("Succession"), Jung-jae's victory is no small feat.

Still, it's kind of a testament to how underrepresented Asian television has been at the Emmys, but it seems as if the massive popularity of "Squid Game" could not be ignored. At the time of this writing, it still remains Netflix's most popular show of all time, and it hit 1.65 billion hours of viewing in its first four weeks on the streamer, according to Variety. Hopefully, this is a sign that not only are English audiences willing to watch non-English shows but that the Emmys will continue to expand its scope and diversify its winner's circle. Either way, this is still a monumental win for Jung-jae and for "Squid Game."