Contestants say Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ reality show was ‘cruel’

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Contestants on Netflix’s “Squid Game: The Challenge” have reportedly renamed the competition series the “Rigged Game” as they call filming an “inhumane” experience.

Four people claiming to be competing on the upcoming season described themselves to Rolling Stone as TV “extras” in an influencer-heavy game predetermined by producers. The Post contacted Netflix for comment.

The show is inspired by the streaming giant‘s wildly popular fictional 2021 series “Squid Game,” which showed poor people participating in gruesome games for millions of dollars. The real-life version, which reportedly began filming last week, boasts 456 contestants vying for $4.56 million — allegedly the biggest prize money ever given out on a TV game show.

Netflix announced “Squid Game: The Challenge” in June 2022.©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Col

But traumatized players — whose names were not disclosed — reportedly told the rock bible that the show’s production was disastrous and dangerous, claiming at least 10 people collapsed while spending up to nine hours in a freezing airport hangar for a game they were told would only take two hours.

One even alleged that medics did not respond to ill contestants quickly because producers were concerned about ruining the footage, Rolling Stone reported.

“I’m shaking, and I’m talking about, like, I’m-on-top-of-Mount-Everest-and-I’ve-got-nothing-on shaking,” one told the mag.

Netflix previously denied allegations that filming was like a “war zone.”

“While it was very cold on set — and participants were prepared for that — any claims of serious injury are untrue,” Netflix and producers Studio Lambert and The Garden said in a recent statement, Deadline reported. “We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures.”

“It was just the cruelest, meanest thing I’ve ever been through,” one former player told Rolling Stone about the experience. “We were a human horse race, and they were treating us like horses out in the cold racing, and [the race] was fixed.”

The competition, based on the hit fictional series “Squid Game,” is said to feature 456 contestants battling for $4.56 million.Netflix

“All the torment and trauma we experienced wasn’t due to the game or the rigor of the game,” another former player adds. “It was the incompetencies of scale — they bit off more than they could chew,” they added.

The ex-players alleged that several contestants are TikTok and Instagram influencers whose time in the game seemed to be up to producers instead of based on their performance in challenges. One explained that the influencers appeared to always be mic’d up, while those who were eliminated had fake microphones around their necks.

“It really wasn’t a game show. It was a TV show, and we were basically extras in a TV show,” one stated.

Three players also claimed a large group successfully crossed the finish line and beat the clock for a game — now being called the “38-second massacre” — only to be cut when producers reviewed the footage.

Contestants who left the show gather their luggage outside a London hotel. News Licensing / MEGA

Two former contestants claimed their return flights were already booked before they even started playing. Their flights back home were scheduled to take off right after they were eliminated, Rolling Stone reported.

“Instead of ‘Squid Game,’ [they] are calling it ‘Rigged Game.’ Instead of Netflix, they’re calling it ‘Net Fix,’ because it was clearly obvious,” one former player added. 

“Squid Game,” the fictional series, was renewed for a second season. A premiere date has not been announced.©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Col

A player also observed an every-man-for-himself attitude among contestants as they pushed through treacherous conditions in the hopes of winning the life-altering cash prize.

“People were beating themselves up, including myself, around the fact that you’ve got a girl convulsing, and [we] all stood there like statues. On what planet is that even humane?” they asked.

“Obviously, you would jump and help — that’s what our human nature is for most of us. But absolutely it’s a social experiment. It played on our morals, and it’s sick. It’s absolutely sick.”

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