Netflix’s upcoming Squid Game reality show has been slammed by contestants for being “mean” and “cruel.” But given the nature of the fictional series: Are you really surprised?
The reality series is said to feature 456 contestants competing for a $4.56 million prize through games inspired by the popular Netflix show.
Last month, it was alleged that contestants spent “hours” in freezing cold weather and faced medical issues while filming in the U.K.; however, the streamer has denied the accusations. In a statement, they denied any form of “serious injury” and insisted that they “care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew.”
Now, things have gotten even messier as former contestants have opened up to Rolling Stone about their poor experiences. “It was just the cruelest, meanest thing I’ve ever been through,” said one, comparing the competition to a “human horse race.”
They continued, “They were treating us like horses out in the cold racing and [the race] was fixed.”
Another contestant shared that the “torment and trauma” wasn’t due to “the rigor of the game,” but rather, the organizer’s “incompetencies.”
Multiple sources accused the game of being rigged, stating that several contestants, specifically social media influencers, were seemingly pre-selected to stay in the game. It was alleged that only some contestants were mic’d and their return plane tickets were purchased in advance. One former contestant claimed that they witnessed an eliminated player being readmitted to the competition. Other sources recalled the opposite, stating that passing contestants would find themselves randomly eliminated after successfully completing their challenge. “It really wasn’t a game show. It was a TV show, and we were basically extras in a TV show,” shared a source.
Another source stated, “Instead of Squid Game, [they] are calling it ‘Rigged Game.’ Instead of Netflix, they’re calling it ‘Net Fix,’ because it was clearly obvious.”
Giving more details on the previous claims of competing in a “Red Light, Green Light” game during freezing weather conditions, a source stated that “at least 10 people” collapsed during the game. Medics were hesitant to approach the injured players because “producers were worried about the camera shots being ruined.”
“On what planet is that even humane?” complained a former contestant, who recalled having to stand still while other contestants were denied medical assistance. “It’s a social experiment. It played on our morals and it’s sick. It’s absolutely sick.”
According to Rolling Stone, two sources stated that multiple players are seeking legal advice to sue the production team for “workplace safety violations, negligence and false pretenses.”
Unfortunately, Twitter isn’t feeling much sympathy for the contestants as many feel as though the poor experiences reflect the events in the fictional series, which was praised for providing harsh commentary on class disparity and capitalism. One tweeted, “They are participating in a game that was inspired by a show in which people are used as pawns for the amusement of the rich and they don’t like being treated like that?” Another questioned, “Did they even watch the show?”