People already reported injured on Netflix’s Squid Game reality show

In news that should surprise no one, Netflix’s reality show based on their hit series Squid Game — in which a group of down-on-their-luck contestants compete for a huge cash prize by playing children’s games to the death — already reportedly has on-set injuries after just one day of filming. The injuries are said to be minor, but you can’t help but shake your head at the irony of it all.

Squid Game: The Challenge kicked off filming in a former airplane hangar near London on January 23, with 456 people brought in from around the world to compete for a historic cash prize of $4.56 million. However, during the first round of filming where competitors played Red Light, Green Light (complete with a giant creepy doll, just like in the show), medics were said to be called in due to the freezing conditions.

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Squid Game: The Challenge claims its first victims, accused of unsafe conditions

The reality show’s version of Red Light, Green Light (also known as “Statues”) required contestants to stand still for hours according to Deadline, while temperatures dipped down to -3 Celsius (26 degrees Fahrenheit) during a rare cold snap in the UK. This pretty understandably was too much for quite a few people, with some saying they experienced “what felt like frostbite” during filming.

This news was first reported by The Sun, which spoke to some of the contestants who didn’t make it through the Red Light, Green Light round of the game. “Even if hypothermia kicked in then people were willing to stay for as long as possible because a lot of money was on the line. Too many were determined not to move so they stood there for far too long,” one source told the tabloid. “There were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left in tears.”

Another described the set as a “warzone”:

You could hear someone yell ‘medic’ and the crew would rush on. We ended up standing there for 30 minutes between takes. Some were crawling by the end. At least one was carried out on a stretcher.

Netflix and producers Studio Lambert and The Garden deny the allegations. “We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures,” they said in a statement to IndieWire. “While it was very cold on set — and participants were prepared for that — any claims of serious injury are untrue.” The news outlet notes that, “Fewer than five players required medical attention. One contestant also injured their shoulder after accidentally running into a wall.”

Another contestant interviewed by The Sun said that the production provided competitors with “two thermals, two socks, a shirt, plimsolls and green tracksuits.” Oh, and they were also given “blood vests under clothes which burst automatically if they catch you moving to make it look like you’ve been shot.”

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Squid Game – Courtesy of Netflix/Youngkyu Park

The idea of Netflix’s Squid Game reality show has been controversial from the start. The original series was a thought-provoking commentary about the crushing nature of capitalism and the lengths that people will go to for money and security. To take that and then make a game show with the exact same premise, except you’re not really getting killed if you lose the games, feels like someone at Netflix missed the memo on what the show was about in the first place.

Contestants on Squid Game: The Challenge are still filming. After the game of Red Light, Green Light, only 288 competitors out of the original 456 remain, according to Variety. We wish them good luck and godspeed.

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