Furious real-life Squid Game contestants consider legal action against Netflix


Furious contestants who have taken part in a new reality show based on Squid Game are considering legal action against Netflix

Dozens of players have blasted the production claiming they were ‘treated like animals’ and made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures as filming commenced at the Cardington TV Studios in Bedford on Monday. 

Meanwhile, two participants were reportedly kicked off the show before filming even began after breaking production rules by having sex in the hotel they were put in. 

Fury Some contestants who have taken part in a new reality show based on Squid Game are considering legal action against Netflix (pictured the hit series the reality show is based off) 

The streaming platform has been secretly shooting a reality version based on the deadly fictional competition, with participants battling it out for the biggest cash prize in TV history – £3.7million. 

As temperatures at the UK studios plummeted to -3C, some disgruntled players have hit out over having to film in such cold conditions and are even considering suing Netflix. 

‘We were tortured for eight hours. We were just fodder. You wouldn’t treat animals like that. I know the show was supposed to be tough but it felt inhumane,’ one player told The Sun

Unhappy: Dozens of players have blasted the production claiming they were 'treated like animals' and made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures

Unhappy: Dozens of players have blasted the production claiming they were ‘treated like animals’ and made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures

Wow: The streaming platform has been secretly shooting a reality version based on the deadly fictional competition, with participants battling it out for £3.7million

Wow: The streaming platform has been secretly shooting a reality version based on the deadly fictional competition, with participants battling it out for £3.7million 

‘At one point I could see they were bringing on a black coffin with a pink ribbon just like in the original show. I feel like they prioritised getting a good shot over helping us.’ 

Another player claimed people were ‘dropping like flies’ due to the cold weather.

Elsewhere two players are said to have ruined their chances before the games even began, after bed-hopping at the Tower Hotel in London where contestants stayed in for two days before filming in Bedford commenced. 

Racy: Meanwhile, two participants were reportedly kicked off the show before it even began after breaking production rules by having sex in the hotel they were put in

Racy: Meanwhile, two participants were reportedly kicked off the show before it even began after breaking production rules by having sex in the hotel they were put in 

A source told the publication: ‘There were strict rules for players to follow before filming started on the show. The production team discovered two had been sleeping together and had to cut them before it even started.’ 

The insider went on to say the rules included not being allowed to interact with other players or smoke and drink alcohol during the hotel stay.  

MailOnline has contacted Netflix, Studio Lambert and The Garden for comment. 

It comes after reports emerged contestants were reportedly left screaming ‘medic’ before they were stretchered off in freezing conditions while filming. 

In a statement to Deadline, Netflix and the show’s producers Studio Lambert and The Garden said earlier this week, ‘while it was very cold on set — and participants were prepared for that — any claims of serious injury are untrue.’

Out in the cold: Contestants of Netflix's real-life Squid Game were reportedly left screaming 'medic' before they were stretchered off in freezing temperatures while filming for the show

Out in the cold: Contestants of Netflix’s real-life Squid Game were reportedly left screaming ‘medic’ before they were stretchered off in freezing temperatures while filming for the show

‘We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures,’ it added.’ 

One player previously told The Sun: ‘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.

‘There were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left in tears.’

Troubles: Players are said to have felt like they had frostbite as the temperatures at the UK filming location plummeted to -3C, according to The Sun

Troubles: Players are said to have felt like they had frostbite as the temperatures at the UK filming location plummeted to -3C, according to The Sun

They added: ‘It was like a warzone. People were getting carried out by medics but we couldn’t say anything. If you talk then you’re out. Some people couldn’t move their feet because it was so cold.

‘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.’

A total of 456 players, the same as in the original series, took part and some are said to have started to feel unwell during the first game, Red Light, Green Light.

Competitors had flown in from as far as the United States and Australia for the show, which was being filmed at Cardington Studios, a former RAF base near Bedford.

Hundreds were eliminated in the first round and then stayed in bunkbeds at the studios, just like in the Korean series.

In the original series, hundreds of cash-strapped contestants accept an invitation to compete in children’s games for a tempting prize, but the stakes are deadly.  

Action: Netflix  has been secretly filming a reality version of the deadly fictional competition, with hopefuls battling it out for a £3.7m prize (Cardington Studios in Bedford pictured)

Action: Netflix  has been secretly filming a reality version of the deadly fictional competition, with hopefuls battling it out for a £3.7m prize (Cardington Studios in Bedford pictured)

Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of unscripted and documentary series, previously said of the upcoming reality programme: ‘Squid Game took the world by storm with [director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s] captivating story and iconic imagery.

‘We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment. 

‘Fans of the drama series are in for a fascinating and unpredictable journey as our 456 real world contestants navigate the biggest competition series ever, full of tension and twists, with the biggest-ever cash prize at the end.’  

The reality series will consist of ten episodes – one more than the original thriller.

The TV production company behind the show Studio Lambert has previously been accused of allowing ‘inhumane’ working conditions and faced allegations of mistreating staff on previous reality shows.

Some of those working on the popular Gogglebox series described a toxic culture where staff worked excessive hours and were expected to go without breaks.

The trade union BECTU, which represents film production workers, received complaints from staff about the way they were being treated.

One member of staff told the union: ‘People have had enough. You don’t turn up to be screamed at for 12 hours a day.’

Bectu said they urgently requested a meeting with the company who are behind many contestant led shows, including ‘BBC show ‘Traitors and ‘Race across the world.’

Squid Game became Netflix’s most-watched programme in 2021, drawing in 142million people in its first month – nearly double the previous record held by Bridgerton.

The Korean drama is also being praised with adding 4.4million new subscribers, increasing Netflix global subscriptions to 213.5million from 209million.

It boosted the company’s profits to £1.1billion – nearly double the amount it took in during the third quarter of 2020.

Screen magic: The reality series will consist of 10 episodes which happens to be one more than the original dramatic series

Screen magic: The reality series will consist of 10 episodes which happens to be one more than the original dramatic series

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