It's 2021's best celebrity feud.
In one corner Hwang Dong-hyuk, the celebrated creator of this year's biggest TV show, Squid Game. In the other corner, Lebron James, one of the best basketball players ever and current star of the reigning NBA champions the LA Lakers.
The issue? The ending of Squid Game. Be warned, spoilers incoming.
Earlier this month, James and teammate Anthony Davis were caught on camera chatting about Squid Game, specifically discussing the ending of Squid Game.
James said he didn't like the ending.
"Get on the flight and see your fucking daughter," he joked, in reference to the fact that, instead of getting on a plan and flying to the US to visit his daughter, main character Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-hae) leaves the airport to try to track down the people who organized the Squid Game at the last minute.
But the plot thickens. In an interview with The Guardian published on Tuesday, Dong-hyuk struck back when asked about James and his problems with the show's ending.
"Have you seen Space Jam 2?" asked Dong-hyuk. "LeBron James is cool and can say what he wants. I respect that. I'm very thankful he watched the whole series. But I wouldn't change my ending. That's my ending.
"If he has his own ending that would satisfy him, maybe he could make his own sequel. I'll check it out and maybe send him a message saying, 'I liked your whole show, except the ending.'"
James' response was just as good!
Obviously, it's all in fun, and neither party appears sincerely upset at the back-and-forth jibes, but it does speak to the popularity and mainstream appeal of a show gone stratospheric. Squid Game is now officially one of the biggest Netflix shows ever and it has penetrated the dominant discourse in a way that no show has since maybe Game of Thrones.
Can't wait for season 2. And James' take on season 2!