Netflix to remove Squid Game scenes after phone number complaints

6 October 2021, 11:25

Watch the trailer for Netflix's Squid Game series

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Squid Game viewers have been calling the phone numbers in the show but they actually belong to real Korean citizens.

Netflix is set to remove scenes from Squid Game following complaints over the use of real life phone numbers.

If you've watched Squid Game, you'll know that the mysterious game cards handed out by the Salesman each have a phone number on the back. When the characters call the number, they can sign up as a player in the games.

Viewers have apparently been calling them in the hopes of finding easter eggs. (A handful of Netflix's other shows, including Stranger Things, have used similar easter egg phone numbers in their shows.)

However, it turns out that those numbers are actually real, and belong to real Korean citizens. Last week, a Korean man came forward and called out the show for using his real phone number without permission.

Now, Netflix and Squid Game's production company Siren Pictures Inc. are working to resolve the problem.

Squid Game scene to be removed from Netflix following complaints
Squid Game scene to be removed from Netflix following complaints. Picture: Netflix

In a statement obtained by The Independent, Netflix said: “Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes with phone numbers where necessary."

Two different phone numbers are seen on-screen in the series; one in episode 1 when Seong Gi-hun calls the number after receiving a card, and another in episode 9 when Gi-hun takes the card from a stranger at the train station and warns him not to play.

Netflix have not yet removed the scenes and they still currently appear in the show as of Wednesday 6th October.

The Squid Game card features a real phone number
The Squid Game card features a real phone number. Picture: Netflix

The owner of one of the numbers, who has asked to remain anonymous, told MBC that he has been inundated with calls, texts and even pictures all through the day and night. He also said been receiving over 4,000 calls a day from fans of the show.

The man is reportedly unable to change his number because it's one that he's been using for his business for over 10 years.

Shortly after the man came forward, South Korea's National Revolutionary Party's honorary chief, Huh Kyung-young, wrote on Facebook that he would offer to buy the number from him for 100 million won ($84,000).