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Medics Called 11 Times In ‘Absolutely Inhumane’ Conditions On Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Reality Show

Forbes 2/3/2023 Brian Bushard, Forbes Staff


Medics were reportedly called 11 times on the United Kingdom set of Netflix’s reality series Squid Game: The Challenge, its highly-anticipated real-life game show based on the blockbuster Korean horror-thriller series—the latest allegation about the reality spin-off as it comes under fire for unsafe conditions.

Medics were reportedly called for contestants in Netflix's 'Squid Game: The Challenge.' Getty Images © Provided by Forbes Medics were reportedly called for contestants in Netflix's 'Squid Game: The Challenge.' Getty Images

Key Facts

Squid Game: The Challenge, which features 456 contestants vying for a $4.56 million grand prize over a series of physical and psychological competitions, also deprived contestants of bathroom breaks during filming, sources told Variety.

One contestant, whose name was not released, told Variety series producers did not provide enough food on set for participants, with some going to bed hungry, and one waking up to a cold hamburger.

The report comes one week after reports indicated three contestants received medical care on set of the show during taping of its first game, red light, green light (Netflix confirmed medics were called, although the streaming service denied they were the result of “serious injury”).

While filming at a former Royal Air Force base roughly 40 miles north of London, temperatures dropped below freezing, increasing the risk of frostbite during red light, green light, in which contestants are forced to hold still in the bitter cold, Deadline reported, with one contestant comparing it to a “war zone” (Netflix again denied there were serious injuries, saying, “we care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew”).

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

Key Background

Netflix announced last June it was producing a reality show based on the hit 2021 series—Netflix’s most-watched series, with roughly 1.65 billion hours watched worldwide in its first 28 days. According to Netflix, the $4.56 million prize is the biggest in reality TV history, while the 456 guests are the most in a reality show. Unlike the drama series—which kills off its contestants one by one until a single winner is declared—producers of the reality show promised its players would “leave unscathed.”


Several contestants have claimed the Netflix series was scripted, with producers rigging the outcome, according to multiple reports. One participant told Vice News they realized during filming the game was “never” one they could win, saying they were really just an “extra” on the show. During filming of red light, green light, some contestants were given microphone packs, while others received non-functioning packs, the AV Club reported, while some realized they were given return flights in advance of several of the scheduled games.

Further Reading

Inside Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Reality Show Disaster: ‘The Conditions Were Absolutely Inhumane’ (Variety)

‘Squid Game’ Reality Show Coming To Netflix—Without The Body Count (Forbes)

‘Squid Game’ Creator Making A Satire About The Success Of ‘Squid Game’ (Forbes)

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