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Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk hits back at plagiarism claims


Squid Game has been hit with plagiarism claims after fans pointed out the show’s similarities to 2014 Japanese film As The Gods Will. 

The South Korean series has soared in popularity worldwide since its release on Netflix last month and has been pegged to become the service’s most successful show to date sparking global conversation across social media.

One common theme dividing fans was likenesses between the show and As The Gods Will, although Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, 50, was quick to quash any allegations of plagiarism as he insisted: ‘I did it first’. 

‘They are similar but I did it first’: Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has hit back at plagiarism claims after viewers alleged the Netflix hit COPIES 2014 Japanese film As The Gods Will (Hwang pictured in 2013)

Squid Game follows a group of down and out citizens who are selected by a masked organisation to compete for money by playing children’s games – with deadly consequences to those who lose out in the playground. 

The first game in the series of deathly contraptions is called Red Light Green Light, where a vast doll oversees a ‘playground’ filled with adults who are mown down if they move when the doll’s head is turned.  

One Twitter user shared side by side screenshots of two pieces of work, showing similarities, yet Hwang pointed out the timelines of creation. 

In a press conference last month, he said: ‘It is true that [the first game is] similar, but after that, there aren’t any similarities. I worked on [Squid Game in] 2008 and 2009, and at the time, the first game [had already been] fixed as Red Light Green Light.’

Same? One Twitter user shared side by side shots of the two pieces of media

Same? One Twitter user shared side by side shots of the two pieces of media 

He went on to state that As Gods Will would have been created in the 2010s, meaning the formation of Squid Game was already in place. 

The creator said: ‘It’s not really something that I wanna do, to claim ownership of this story. But if I had to say it, I would say I did it first’. 

Twitter users pointing out the similarities wrote: ‘Squid Game is basically “As Gods Will” + “Kanji”… I’m sure squids game is just as gods will. It’s a shot to shot copy tho. Except that in squid game, they get shot while in As gods will, they blow up… 

Nope: One Twitter user shared side by side screenshots of two pieces of work, showing similarities, yet Hwang pointed out the timelines of creation (Hwang pictured in 2011)

Nope: One Twitter user shared side by side screenshots of two pieces of work, showing similarities, yet Hwang pointed out the timelines of creation (Hwang pictured in 2011)

Plot: Squid Game follows a group of down and out citizens who are selected by a masked organisation to compete for money by playing children's games - with deadly consequences to those who lose out in the playground

Plot: Squid Game follows a group of down and out citizens who are selected by a masked organisation to compete for money by playing children’s games – with deadly consequences to those who lose out in the playground

‘Started watching squid game now & I do get the controversy, there was definitely inspiration taken from As Gods Will (great movie I can only recommended it), Alice in Borderland & Battle Royale also comes to mind’. 

Others however were more defensive of the work, insisting the similarities are a stretch, with users writing: ‘Comparing #SquidGame to “as gods will”…

‘Just cause they both share a single popular asian game. Is like saying every movie that has a gun is “die hard”. I said what I said… 

Really? Similarities came to light by some viewers

Really? Similarities came to light by some viewers 

‘Squid game is NOT a rip off version of hunger games, or battle royale, or as gods will, or kanji. they are their own projects, one may influence the other just like everything does in hollywood. so stop taking a dig at squid game pls thank u…

‘People saying Squid Game is a copy of As Gods Will I have a question, do you know how to consume media? Did you watch Iron Man and think he was a copy of Batman because they both rich people in suits? I feel that’s how you consume media’.

‘Squid game is pretty nice, Sure there is a similarity of the first game with the movie As Gods Will but other than that one game, they are pretty different. Still the concept is your standard death trap/mind trick game.’ 

No: Viewers were more defensive of the work, insisting the similarities are a stretch, with users writing: 'Comparing #SquidGame to "as gods will"... 'Just cause they both share a single popular asian game. Is like saying every movie that has a gun is "die hard"

No: Viewers were more defensive of the work, insisting the similarities are a stretch, with users writing: ‘Comparing #SquidGame to “as gods will”… ‘Just cause they both share a single popular asian game. Is like saying every movie that has a gun is “die hard”



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