Netflix's latest Korean offering, Squid Game, has taken the world by storm. The gritty survival drama recently became the first K-drama to hit the number one spot on Netflix US, displacing the fan favorite Sex Education Season 3.
However, this resounding success is turning out to be bad news for one person, and might result in a lawsuit for Netflix.
Several viewers who wanted to take part in the deadly kid's competitions featured in the series went so far as to dial the number on the business card given to each contestant.
In Squid Game, all potential particpants, who are usually people desperate for money, are offered a business card. They have to dial the number on the card in order to join the game. In one of the scenes, specifically, the card is handed out by none other than the Goblin, Gong Yoo. Now the catch is that the clearly visible number on the cards is currently active, and belongs to a real user in Korea.
Fans called up the Squid Game number and received surprising response
Instead of removing digits from the middle or end of the phone number, the production team removed them from the beginning. They essentially removed only the Korean city area code, making the number functional for anyone who calls from the same area as the user.
Several curious fans tried out the number, expecting it to be fake, or at least owned by someone related to the show. To their surprise, the user turned out to be an ordinary man, with nothing to do with the show, or the entertainment industry.
The owner of the phone number reportedly gave a statement announcing they had become annoyed by fans of Squid Game, who had taken to calling and texting them repeatedly. The user has reportedly owned this number for over 10 years:
After Squid Game aired, I have been receiving calls and texts endlessly, 24/7, to the point that it’s hard for me to go on with daily life. This is a number that I’ve been using for more than 10 years, so I’m quite taken aback. There are more than 4000 numbers that I’ve had to delete from my phone (viewers) and it’s to the point where due to people reaching out without a sense of day and night due to their curiosity, my phone’s battery is drained and turns off. At first I didn’t know why but my friend told me that my number came out in Squid Game and that’s when I realized.
At first, the victim of this unfortunate situation did not realize the reason behind this drastic increase in call volume. It was only when they received a message from a curious viewer that things started making sense. The message read:
There’s a hot drama recently called Squid Game that’s produced by Netflix and in the invitation card there, the eight digits of the phone number [censored] was written. As it was only eight digits, I thought it wouldn’t exist and so I tried calling it but it connected automatically. I thought that of course the production team would’ve taken preventive measures. I’m sorry. The number appears in episode 1 and 2. You can confirm it around the 23:44 mark for the first episode. I’m sorry once more for contacting you late at night.
Netflix may be in trouble over Squid Game lapse
For Netflix, this oversight by Squid Game's production team might prove costly. By law, revealing someone's personal information on screen, without explicit consent, is prohibited.
The victim claimed that despite trying several times, they couldn't get through to either Netflix, or the producer of Squid Games, Siren Pictures.
Although Siren Pictures has not released a statement yet, a representative from Netflix has issued the following statement:
“We are working to resolve the matter amicably with the owner of the phone number. However, the victim’s claim that they could not even report the situation because they couldn’t reach us is untrue.”
Netflix could potentially need to pay a hefty fine for this mistake, especially if the victim decides to press charges. Although only the court can give the final verdict, in the meantime, not calling the number would be best for everyone, especially the producers of Squid Game.