Netflix removed a phone number that appears in its hit series Squid Game after a South Korean woman and others who use similar combinations were inundated with calls – some callers even asking to join the games of life or death of the show.
The South Korean production has topped Netflix’s popularity charts in 90 countries since its launch last month and is well on its way to becoming its most-watched series of all time.
The nine-part drama, which deals with deepening economic inequalities, involves hundreds of cash-strapped people taking part in children’s games to win the final prize of 45.6 billion Korean won (28 million Korean won). pounds sterling), with the losers killed in an uncompromising and violent manner.
To participate, applicants must call a number listed on a symbol-printed business card. But while film and TV makers typically use fake numbers in such circumstances, adding 010 – the standard prefix for South Korean mobiles – to the card’s eight digits generated a real phone number.
It belongs to a South Korean woman who said she received thousands of calls and texts on her phone “to the point where it is difficult for me to continue my daily life”.
“It’s a number I’ve been using for over 10 years so I’m quite surprised. There are over 4,000 numbers that I had to delete from my phone, ”the businesswoman told South Korean newspaper Money Today.
“At first I didn’t know why, but my friend told me my number was out in Squid Game and that’s when I realized,” she said, adding that some pranksters had asked in the middle of the night “to join Squid Game” before. to hang up.
In a statement, Netflix asked fans to refrain from making jokes and messages. “Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this issue, including editing scenes with phone numbers if necessary,” the company said.
The woman said she was unable to change her number due to contact with customers. She reportedly rejected compensation offers of up to 5 million won, although Netflix has not commented on the compensation claims.
South Korean presidential candidate Huh Kyung-young made headlines last week when he offered 100 million won on Facebook to buy the phone number.
But on Thursday, the eight-digit number that appears in the first two episodes had been replaced by a six-digit version. When called, an automated response said, “The number you dialed is not available. “