Netflix has had to edit out a phone number which appears in its smash-hit new series Squid Game.
A South Korean woman and others who use similar combinations were bombarded with calls – with some callers even asking to join the show’s grisly life-or-death games.
Characters in the hugely popular but highly divisive Squid Game are given a phone number to contact on a calling card if they want to take part in a survival challenge.
It turns out that those digits are for real, with one businesswoman left tormented by a torrent of calls from fans, upending her life completely.
The South Korea production is topping Netflix charts in 90 countries since its launch last month and is on track to become its most watched series ever.
The nine-episode drama, involves hundreds of cash-strapped people competing in children’s games to win the final reward of 45.6bn Korean won, (around €35m) with the losers killed in uncompromising and violent ways.
Contestants have to call a number on a business card printed with symbols, but filmmakers use ‘010’, the standard prefix for South Korean mobiles – to the eight digits on the card to generate a real phone number!
It belongs to a South Korean woman who said she received thousands of calls and text messages to her phone “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 4,000 numbers that I’ve had to delete from my phone,” the businesswoman told the South Korean newspaper Money Today.
“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 realised,” she said, adding that some pranksters asked in the dead of night “to join Squid Game“ before hanging up.
In a statement, Netflix asked fans to refrain from prank calls and messages. “Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes with phone numbers where necessary,” the company said.
The woman said it was impossible to change her number due to client contacts. She is reported to have rejected compensation offers of up to 5m won, although Netflix has not commented on the compensation claims.