When Netflix announced its reality game show The Squid Game: The Challenge.The first twisted South Korean thriller about a group of poor people recruited to compete in a killer game with millions in prize money immediately drew the ire and wonder of fans who sat through: How well can this end?
Still, the epic competition drew 456 contestants willing to compete for $4.56 million — making the show the biggest cast and prize money in TV history. But after the first day of filming ended last Monday, reports started circulating that the show’s production was in complete disaster.
“It was the cruelest and worst thing I’ve ever experienced,” said one former contestant. A rolling stone. “We were a race of human horses, and they treated us like horses in a cold race [the race] fixed.”
Another former player added: “The pain and injuries we suffered were not due to the game or the intensity of the game. “It was a failure of scale – they bit off more than they could chew.”
Four former players detail their experiences. rolling stone, Confirming earlier reports, contestants were forced to play the show’s “Red Light, Green Light” game in inhumane conditions, spending up to nine hours in a cold airport hangar, unable to move for 30 minutes, and unable to take the extreme cold as medics rushed in to tend to them. All spoke on condition of anonymity, citing NDAs.
In an earlier statement, Netflix said the three sought medical attention for minor conditions, but said it had “invested in all appropriate safety procedures” to keep the production safe. While it was very cold at the event – and the participants were prepared for that – any claims of serious injury are untrue. (The stream referred us to their previous statement when reached for comment.)
But Netflix and the show’s co-producers, Studio Lambert and The Garden, downplayed the weight of Hell Day, according to sources. Additionally, they believe the news coverage missed a key point in their complaint: The game appears rigged to begin with. (Studio Lambert did not respond to a request for comment; The Garden referred our inquiries to Netflix.)
Some of the previous players – many of them TikTok and Instagram influencers – seemed to be pre-selected to advance to the next round regardless of the first game, and most of them were almost completely in the game. Eliminated contestants had dim microphones around their necks. One former player said the rules were being tightened to add to the contestants’ history, while another said he had seen a defeated player return to the game.
“It wasn’t really a game show. It was a TV show, and we were basically extras in a TV show,” one explains.
Three former players describe what they call “the 38-second massacre” when a large group of competitors finish at the finish line, successfully advancing to the next round. But while the producers waited for them to go through filming and get a drone shot of the round, their bloody squid packs disappeared minutes later, and they were told they had been eliminated despite crossing the finish line. “It went crazy,” recalls one contestant.
Two contestants say their return tickets were booked early when they got the first flight to London. As it was, it was planned to be removed immediately after their flights were wounded. “instead of him Squid game, [they] They call it a ‘rigged game’. They called it ‘Net Fix’ instead of Netflix, because it was so obvious,” added one former player.
Filming on the reality competition series began last Monday, with players waking up in the wee hours of the morning and taking a nearly two-hour bus ride from their London hotel to Cardington Airfield, a former Royal Air Force base. It was an unexpectedly chilly day, and inside the large metal hangar with its concrete floor, one source said it felt close to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius).
Although the cast includes two layers of thermals, two pairs of socks and theirs Squid game Tracksuits, they say, weren’t enough clothing to keep the contestants warm. (Hand and leg warmers given to the players before the start of the game were taken away, sources said.)
The organizers said the game would only last for two hours, but the former players had to prepare for nine hours and were unable to move for about 30 minutes, some of them losing feeling in their hands and feet. Their only reprieve came when they scrambled to the finish line within seven seconds – only to be frozen in place and wait another 30 minutes while producers took drone shots, reviewed the footage and decided who was eliminated.
“I’m shaking and I’m talking I’m-at-the-top-of-Everest-and-I-can’t-find-anything-to-shake,” he recalls.
Sources said at least 10 people collapsed in the cold conditions at the game, with medics screaming as people collapsed on the ground. One of the medics took ages to reach the actors because producers were worried the camera footage would be messed up. As a solution, masked men in pink jumpsuits were sent to the floor with a black coffin and positioned themselves to block the medics attending to the fallen player – all the other contestants were frozen in place.
With life-changing amounts of money on the line, former contestants say they feel trapped – fearing they’ll be out of the game if they act to help. “People, including me, were beating themselves up when a girl laughed and we all stood like statues. On which planet does humanity even exist? ” asks one former contestant. “Obviously, you jump in and help – that’s human nature for most of us. But it is absolutely a social experiment. It played on our morals and it got sick. Absolutely sick.”
Another added: “$4.5 million is on hold and if you move, you’re out. “I have noticed many people who think they are going to change their family life. These men were willing to die. Someone says, ‘I’m going home with this, I don’t care what it takes.’ I think the producers wanted it. They wanted people not to think about their health, not to care about their safety.
One player says he sustained a herniated disc and torn knee ligament. “My legs are completely numb,” he said, explaining that he fell down the stairs when he tried to go to the bathroom after being kicked out. Another player said she had pneumonia and an ear infection, and two other players were coughing during their conversation. A rolling stoneThey said they got a cold after the competition.
Aside from the brutality, former contestants said they saw clear signs of players who had already been selected to advance to the next round. One said that before the game started, only players who had been completely banned had noticed that they were being filmed, with cameras following them as they mingled with other players on the app. The two say they’ve seen some contestants clearly act when they should have been iced, but they weren’t eliminated. They say that they have seen one of the competitors added to the game only when it is removed.
Another was eliminated with five seconds left on the clock at the end of the grueling nine hours. But as she waits to exit the show, she notices cameras pointing at a contestant playing with his mother. “This kid is sitting at the finish line, he’s crying, and the cameras are on him and he’s waiting for his mom. They added to it. [more time] She was one of those people who wanted to be on the show so that she could be passed over on time.
Two former contestants have confirmed that some players, including themselves, are seeking legal advice to sue the production studios for workplace safety violations, negligence and false pretenses. (The co-producer behind the popular reality show Studio Lambert as The club, Naked attraction And Traitors, has previously faced claims of making its employees work in “inhumane” conditions. Employees in the UK Gogglebox In the year (In 2021, it was alleged that they worked extremely long hours and were made to go without breaks.)
In response to the mockery, which contestants should have known better when they signed up for a game based on the hit TV series, former players said they were assured at every level that the show would be safe, fun and, most importantly, fair. A chance to win a life-changing amount of money. “It’s not like we signed up. Nudity and fear Or SurvivedWhere you eat ants and be cruel – this was not a game.
“The funny thing is,” offers another competitor, “equality and fairness were the main theme of the original Squid gameHe said.