Squid Game: The Challenge contestants threaten Netflix with lawsuit over ‘injuries’

Alleged injuries occurred during filming of ‘Red Light, Green Light’ challenge, which was filmed in freezing temperatures in the UK

Tom Murray
Thursday 23 November 2023 18:51 GMT
Squid Game: The Challenge trailer

Two contestants from Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge are threatening legal action against the US streaming giant and producers of the show over alleged injuries they sustained during filming.

The newly-released competition series sees 456 ordinary people take on childhood games familiar from the 2021 Korean drama, which became Netflix’s most successful show ever.

A British personal injuries law firm is representing the unnamed players who say they suffered hypothermia and nerve damage while filming in the UK, Deadline first reported.

Express Solicitors said in a statement shared on its website that it had sent letters of claim to Studio Lambert, which co-produces the show alongside Netflix.

The contestants claim the injuries occurred while filming the first game of the series, “Red Light, Green Light”, at Cardington Studios, a former Royal Air Force base in Bedford, while temperatures plummeted to -3C (26.6F).

One player told The Sun back in January that contestants spent several hours in the cold as the game demands that players stand completely still to avoid the gaze of a giant robotic doll.

‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ (PETE DADDS/NETFLIX)

They said: “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.”

They added that at least one person “was carried out on a stretcher”; however, sources close to production denied this claim, telling The Independent that no one was stretchered off set.

Daniel Slade, CEO of Express Solicitors, said: “We recognise people may see this as a classic David and Goliath battle with the company and its production partners.

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“Contestants thought they were taking part in something fun and those injured did not expect to suffer as they did. Now they have been left with injuries after spending time being stuck in painful stress positions in cold temperatures.”

The Independent has contacted Netflix and Studio Lambert for comment.

A spokesperson for Squid Game: The Challenge told Deadline: “No lawsuit has been filed by any of the Squid Game contestants. We take the welfare of our contestants extremely seriously.”

Netflix confirmed in February that three players required medical attention after “Red Light, Green Light” and the show faced an independent safety inspection.

‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reviewed processes on the show and closed the case; though it warned producers to “plan properly for any risks” in future filming.

HSE said: “We contacted the programme producers after receiving concerns about their recent filming. We reviewed the responses from the producers and decided to take no further action. We did stress to them the importance of planning properly for any risks in future filming.”

Netflix told The Independent in a statement on behalf of the platform, Studio Lambert and The Garden (another producer of the show): “We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures.

“While it was very cold on set – and participants were prepared for that – any claims of serious injury are untrue.”

Participants in this real-life, non-fatal version of the competition are competing for £3.7m, the largest lump sum jackpot in the history of reality TV.

Each elimination adds $10,000 (£8,000) to the prize pool.

In his three-star review of the series for The Independent, Nick Hilton wrote: “The fear of death and anti-capitalist themes may have been replaced by a rabid consumerism (an apt metaphor for modern America, if not an intentional one), but Squid Game: The Challenge is obviously an epic of its genre.

Squid Game: The Challenge is out now on Netflix.

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