South Korean series Squid Game is one of Netflix’s most popular shows right now.
However, an odd real-world situation related to the show has occurred. Participants in Squid Game are given a business card that features PlayStation-like icons on one side and a phone number that’s visible during the episode on the other.
Naturally, thousands of people tried calling the number shown by the main character Seong Gi Hun, and the real-world owner of the actual number is upset, according to South Korean blog Koreaboo.
“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,” said the owner of the number in an interview with Koreaboo.
People probably aren’t calling the number to try to join the Squid Game in the real-world… we hope.
According to Koreaboo, the series’ producers assumed displaying the number was fine since the first three digits were blocked, but calling the last eight digits was enough to reach the victim’s local phone number.
The owner of the number told local South Korean media that they can’t change their number because it’s used for business purposes. Further, Koreaboo explained that Netflix initially said it wouldn’t do anything about the issue. When Netflix received backlash for the response, the owner of the number was reportedly offered 5 million KRW (roughly $5,280 CAD).
Netflix South Korea has announced that it will edit the number out of the series and is asking viewers to stop calling it.