Squid Game Season 2 has officially announced its star-studded cast lineup. However, one name stood out among the renowned actors in the Squid Game Season 2 cast: Choi Seung Hyun, also known as T.O.P. So, how did T.O.P join the star-studded cast lineup of Squid Game Season 2? Was it indeed because of Lee Jung Jae? Continue reading to learn more about T.O.P and Squid Game Season 2 cast controversy, and whether Lee Jung Jae was truly involved in the process.
T.O.P (Choi Seung Hyun) Shocking Appearance in SQUID GAME Season 2 Cast
On June 29, Netflix announced the star-studded cast members of the upcoming Squid Game Season 2. Aside from the main characters Lee Jung Jae, Lee Byung Hyun, Wi Ha Joon, and Gong Yoo, the series involves many other prominent actors, including Im Siwan, Kang Ha Neul, Park Gyu Young, Park Sung Hoon, Lee Jin Wook, and more.
However, one name stood out in particular among the Squid Game Season 2 cast: Choi Seung Hyun, commonly known as former BIGBANG member T.O.P.
While fans are excited about the upcoming seasons of Squid Game, the appearance of T.O.P’s name in the cast lineup resulted in a massive controversy.
Former BIGBANG T.O.P and His Infamous Reputation Cause a Controversy
Previously, T.O.P became the center of attention due to his marijuana case in 2017. The prosecution charged him for smoking marijuana with former YG trainee Han Seo Hee while serving in the military. This misconduct resulted in a military trial that ended with a 10-month prison sentence and 2-year probation. Afterward, T.O.P entered his self-reflection period with no existing projects.
However, the controversy continued after T.O.P one-sidedly stated that he had left BIGBANG. After leaving YG Entertainment amidst BIGBANG’s long-awaited comeback in 2022, T.O.P immediately dissociated himself from the 2nd gen Kpop group and crossed BIGBANG’s label from his name. Meanwhile, he also announced that he was still making his albums.
This was a huge surprise for the public because T.O.P once stated he would never return to the entertainment industry. The public massively criticized T.O.P for reversing his own statement and retirement, even with his long list of terrible history and reputation. Moreover, he even one-sidedly cut his ties to the group and the members that had helped grow his global popularity.
This is why, despite T.O.P’s previously praised acting skills, his infamous reputation tied to BIGBANG and multiple drug-related incidents sparked a huge controversy when his name appeared among the prominent actors joining Squid Game’s upcoming season.
A Double Standard?
This controversy grew even more significant after Netflix postponed the release of The Match and Goodbye Earthdue to Yoo Ah In’s drug scandal. At the same time, Kim Sae Ron had been edited out of the promising series Bloodhounds due to her DUI scandal.
Indeed, T.O.P may have paid his dues. And legally, there may be no issues with his return. However, his background as an ex-convict and Netflix’s recent decisions resulted in the public questioning this casting choice.
Is it true that Netflix is applying a double standard for these cases?
Behind T.O.P Joining SQUID GAME Season 2 Cast: It’s All Because of Lee Jung Jae
After the news broke about T.O.P joining Squid Game Season 2 cast, reports emerged that actor Lee Jung Jae was the reason behind this decision.
Dispatch’s exclusive report revealed on June 29 that T.O.P’s recruitment into the Squid Game Season 2 cast was all because of Lee Jung Jae.
Apparently, Lee Jung Jae and T.O.P have had a long-time close friendship despite their age difference. They shared countless common activities, including visiting Hong Kong festivals, enjoying art, and tasting wine at Im Se Ryung’s restaurant.
Furthermore, in 2014, when Lee Jung Jae and Im Se Ryung dating news broke, the couple apparently enjoyed a date at T.O.P’s apartment.
According to Dispatch, Lee Jung Jae has been trying to “save” T.O.P by attempting to recruit him to his past projects several times. However, these attempts invariably resulted in failures.
This time, everything is different.
Actor Lee Jung Jae is now the global face of Netflix Squid Game and its whole franchise. He has a guaranteed payment of 1 million USD for each Squid Game episode he plays. And his appearance is the primary focus throughout the 13 episodes of the upcoming Squid Game seasons.
Hence, there is no way that Netflix could ignore his demands. That is especially considering his role in the series and how the first season of Squid Game had brought over 900 million USD in revenue.
Dispatch believed that Lee Jung Jae was determined to save his dongsaeng, T.O.P, by having him join the Squid Game Season 2 cast. And he has reportedly succeeded this time.
Lee Jung Jae Denied Involvements in T.O.P Joining SQUID GAME Season 2 Cast
Finally, following the recent accusation of “tampering” with the casting process of Squid Game, Lee Jung Jae’s agency posted an official statement.
In the statement, Lee Jung Jae’s Artist Company agency denied the actor’s involvement in the series’ casting process. The agency stated that Lee Jung Jae best understood the massive anticipation towards the series. Therefore, all the casting process fell upon the authority of the series’ director and the production company through auditions.
“It is not true that actor Lee Jung Jae was involved in the casting of Squid Game Season 2.”Artist Company.
So, what do you think about this controversy surrounding T.O.P joining Squid Game Season 2 cast? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Meanwhile, please stay with Kpoppost’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram for more updates.
Ultimately, Squid Game will start filming its upcoming seasons in the second half of 2023. Its approximate release date will be around the second half of 2024.
Meanwhile, here’s T.O.P’s acting performance with Lee Byung Hun in Iris: The Movie (2010).
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