Netflix is to edit scenes of its hit series “Squid Game,” after large numbers of viewers began dialing a phone number that appears in the production — much to the despair of those on the other end of the line.
When protagonist Gi-Hun flashes his games invitation card, an eight-digit number is seen. That number, however, just so happens to belong to a South Korean woman who says she has been bombarded with calls and messages from strangers ever since the show first premiered.
“I’ve been unceasingly getting calls and texts 24/7 to the point where my daily life has become difficult,” said Kim Gil-young, a dessert shop owner who has used the number for 10 years.
She explained that the flood of calls during the day and night was constantly depleting her cellphone battery.
“I’ve had to delete more than 4,000 numbers,” she said, adding that she was “quite taken aback” by the whole experience, which has resulted in some people swearing at her over the phone and others telling her about their financial woes.
“I’m trying to participate in Squid Game, is it possible?” read one text shared by SBS News.
“This is not Squid Game. I sell handmade sugar-free sweet bean jellies,” Kim replied.
Netflix said on Wednesday: “Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes with phone numbers where necessary.”
One woman, whose personal number is just two digits different from the one shown in the series, told the Wall Street Journal that she had been receiving random calls since the show’s launch — some from as far as Colombia.
While some callers hang up instantly, others demand to know: “Is this Squid Game?”
The show’s director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, began writing the series as a screenplay more than a decade ago. It took just 10 days for the series to rise to the No. 1 spot in 90 countries — putting it on track to become Netflix’s most-watched program to date.
“We’ve never seen anything grow as fast and aggressive as ‘Squid Game,’ ” said Minyoung Kim, Netflix’s vice president of content across several locations, including Korea and Southeast Asia.
On social media, some questioned how it was possible that the film giant had not checked the number or used a fake one before releasing the series.
“They actually used someone’s real number?” questioned one user, while many others expressed sympathy for those caught up in the debacle.
Some appeared to find the phone-number frenzy somewhat entertaining, with one fan tweeting: “I say let them play.”
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.