Marvel's Taika Waititi comments on Squid Game: Opens up a heated debate on dubs vs. subs

Filmmaker Taika Waititi and Netflix's Squid Game poster (Images via GQ & Instagram/@theswoonnetflix)
Filmmaker Taika Waititi and Netflix's Squid Game poster (Images via GQ & Instagram/@theswoonnetflix)

One of the most renowned filmmakers worldwide, Taika Waititi tweeted about how to experience Hwang Dong Hyuk's Squid Game the best, and it has opened up the old debate of Team Dubs and Team Subs.

On October 4, the BAFTA and Oscar award-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi tweeted a straightforward line, telling people they "don't have to watch Squid Game dubbed" in English.

Esports commentator Nathanias, Honest Trailers and Transformers voice actor Jon Bailey and author Paul F. Verhoeven back his comments, but some don't. Including one of the show's English voice actors, Rama Vallury.

Should you watch Squid Game in subs or dubs? Here's Taika Waititi's opinion

Netflix's latest viral sensation Squid Game broke barriers and has become a worldwide phenomenon.

The show's seamless showcase of capitalism and class inequality has been quite the rage, even making people go so far as to say no industry shows class disparity as incredibly crafted as the South Korean entertainment industry.

All of this and more, are showcased from the nuances, the accent, and the language of the South Korean actors themselves. Taika Waititi recently tweeted that he's on Team Subs and shared his opinion with the public.

You don't have to watch Squid Game dubbed in English.

What ensued was the age-old debate of appreciating another language’s work in their original creative capacity with subtitles or subtitles being inaccessible by disabled people and giving voice actors a job.

Many people started having conversations regarding preserving originality, no matter Korean or any other language.

One user commented that dubbing, no matter how great the voice actor, can’t capture the original actors' emotions and the right tone.

@TaikaWaititi Dubs never capture the emotions or tone of the original actors. I think watching in the original language with English subtitles also keeps you more engaged and not looking at your phone.

Season subtitle viewers also talked about the nuances and the tone of the language that is usually lost in the English language.

@NUTrull @TaikaWaititi yeah, like there was nuance and class-status stuff that was lost in the English dub, like the use of honorifics and non honorifics

Not only that, but even a dubbing artist revealed that he would mostly prefer subtitles over dubbing any day.

@TaikaWaititi In fact I highly recommend no dub and I dub for a living.
@natalietran @TaikaWaititi The dubs are laughable and I can't even comprehend how one sits through the entire series like this:…
@TaikaWaititi The dubs are horrendous, they were dogshit on Dark and Lupin too. Subtitles 100%
@TaikaWaititi The English dub is almost unwatchable.

While people have their reasons for hating the dubbed shows, it goes without saying that dubbing makes the shows more accessible and inclusive to differently-abled people with conditions such as dyslexia or blindness.

What also makes Squid Game’s English dubbing better is that rather than an all-white cast, AAPI actors voiced the show, bringing in a bit of an authentic take.

@TaikaWaititi But you can! Incredible AAPI Casting and some talented voice artists as leads, including the incomparable Greg Chun (Judgement series, Ghost of Tsushima, and Yakuza series... to name a few)

The conversation also revolved around the talented voice actor Greg Chun, dubbed the lead Seong Gi-hun and Rama Vallury, who voiced Ali and many other characters.

He’s right that you don’t HAVE to, but our full AAPI cast did a really good job. So, you COULD. We did our best. #SquidGame…
@TaikaWaititi Hi Taika! I actually work at the office that dubbed it. It’s perfectly valid if you prefer the subs, but our incredible team worked super hard to cast AAPI actors who made sure to bring their A game. We all love the show and hope you enjoy it no matter which way you watch it!
@KJovian @gregchunva I've heard this from a few people, yes.
@TaikaWaititi yoooo they hit it out of the park though. I never once felt like I wanted to listen to it in another language
@elijahwood @TaikaWaititi There are lots of reasons why someone may need to watch a dub, Elijah. My legally blind nephew watches everything dubbed. People have their reasons. Maybe we should just let people watch whatever they prefer instead of judging them for it.
Y'all... it's not Sub VERSUS Dub... it's Sub and/or Dub.You can prefer one without bashing the other, and you can like both depending on context. A miracle, I know!

Netflix’s Squid Game and DARK, both seem to have divided people over it. But considering Taika Waititi is even tweeting about Squid Game shows the phenomenon’s global reach.

Edited by Danyal Arabi
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