Three people received medical treatment during the filming of a Squid Game reality show, Netflix has confirmed, but said “the claims of serious injuries are not true” after a contestant claimed people were stretchered out.
Squid Game: The Challenge will see 456 contestants vying for a huge cash prize, just like in the hit fictional South Korean drama. The reality show is currently filming at Cardington Studios, a former RAF base in Bedfordshire in the UK.
British tabloid The Sun spoke to an anonymous contestant who claimed that several people had required medical attention due to freezing temperatures in the studio while competing in the first game, Red Light, Green Light.
“Even if the hypothermia kicked in, people were willing to stay as long as possible because there was a lot of money at stake,” the anonymous contestant told the Sun. “Too many were determined not to move, so they stayed there for too long.
“There were people who came thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left crying.”
The Red Light, Green Light game consists of running fast at a green light and remaining completely still and silent when the light turns red.
“It was like a war zone,” the contestant told the Sun. “The doctors were taking people out, but we couldn’t say anything. If you talk, you’re out… You might hear someone yell ‘medic’ and the crew would rush over. We ended up standing there for 30 minutes between takes. Some were trailing at the end. At least one was carried on a stretcher.
After the reports surfaced, Netflix said three people were treated for “mild medical conditions.”
A spokesperson told the BBC that doctors were on set at all times and that it had “invested in all appropriate safety procedures”.
“While it was very cold on set, and the contestants were prepared for it, any claim of serious injury is false,” they said.
In the original drama, 456 contestants compete in deadly versions of children’s games for a large cash prize. It was widely seen as a critique of capitalism and South Korea’s personal debt crisis. Nine months after its release, Netflix announced that it would invite 456 people to fight for US$4.56 million (AU$6.4 million, £3.7bn) in a reality show version.
Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of unscripted and documentary series, has called the reality show a “social experiment.”
Squid Game was Netflix’s most-watched show of 2021 and was credited single-handedly with attracting 4.4 million new subscribers to the streaming service and increasing the company’s earnings to $1.45 billion (2.04 million Australian dollars, £1.17 billion).