Netflix to change the phone number in 'Squid Game' after a woman received a flood of calls

A sign referring to the "honeycomb challenge" featured in Netflix's new hit series "Squid Game" is seen at Brown Butter Cafe in Singapore October 1, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su

After her phone number was highlighted as a significant narrative component in Netflix's (NFLX.O) hit show "Squid Game," a South Korean woman was bombarded with hundreds of prank calls and text messages.

The phone number appears on a cryptic invitation card given to potential players of a series of deadly children's games. Netflix and local production company Siren Pictures said on Wednesday that they would edit sequences to remove it.

When the nine-part thriller aired on the streaming site last month, it became an international success, featuring cash-strapped players playing to the death in the hopes of winning 45.6 billion won ($38.31 million).

The owner of the phone number, identified as Kim Gil-young, a lady who operates a business in the southeastern county of Seongju, was interviewed by local television SBS last month. The woman displayed some of the texts she had received, including invites to participate in the Squid Game and go "from rags to riches."

On Wednesday, Reuters' calls to the phone number went unanswered.

"Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes with phone numbers where necessary," Netflix said on Wednesday, asking viewers to desist from making prank calls or sending messages.

Last month, the woman told SBS that she couldn't alter her phone number because of client relationships, and she turned down a settlement offer of 1 million won ($840). According to SBS, she has since been offered up to 5 million won in compensation.

On Wednesday, both Netflix and Siren Pictures declined to comment on any compensation offers.

Huh Kyung-young, a presidential contender, made news last week when he offered 100 million won ($84,023) on Facebook to buy the show's leaked number.

Telephone numbers are limited national resources, and the country's telecoms industry law prohibits their sale or acquisition.

The Korean Film Council, part of the culture ministry, provides moviemakers with screen numbers that aren't used in real life, but TV shows broadcast on over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix aren't eligible.

Netflix and Siren had previously stated that they only displayed the last eight digits of the mobile phone number because they were unaware that the prefix would be automatically appended to complete the number when dialed.

Publish : 2021-10-07 12:40:00

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