Squid Game viewers criticise schools for warning parents about Netflix show’s ‘violent content’

Netflix users have been urged to be ‘vigilant’ of the series

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 20 October 2021 09:42 BST
Trailer for Netflix thriller Squid Game

Squid Game viewers are criticising schools for warning parents and guardians about letting children watch the Netflix show.

It was reported earlier this week that Central Bedfordshire council’s education safeguarding team sent a district-wide email stating that the 15-rated series was “quite graphic with a lot of violent content”.

The Korean-language drama has become the streaming service’s most-watched show since being released in September. It follows a mysterious organisation that recruits people in debt to compete in a series of deadly childhood games for the chance to win a life-changing amount of money.

The council urged parents to be “vigilant” of the show, adding: “We strongly advise that children should not watch Squid Game.”

It follows a similar warning from a primary school in Ilford after pupils were seen trying to “play” the games featured in the programme.

Squid Game‘s challenges are mostly based on old playground games such as tug of war and marbles.

However, viewers are questioning the decision to issue a warning about the series following a discussion on Good Morning Britain – especially considering that Squid Game is not aimed at children and that Netflix has parental guidance warnings.

“I haven’t watched it but is this not the same argument that we’ve always had? Blaming TV, movies, music etc for violent behaviour? I grew up playing GTA and listening to Eminem but I was never violent.Another viewer added: “Everything is aged & parents should be the police & judges of what their children watch. Education is key here.”

‘Squid Game’ has become Netflix’s most-successful show of all time (Netflix)

Squid Game is not fit for kids because it is not intended for kids!” one person said. “If a parent is letting their young kids watch this (pressure or not), that is on the parent, not the film.”

Speaking on GMB, crime writer Mark Billingham said: “It’s no more violent than a dozen other shows I could mention straight away.”

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He suggested the backlash is “scare-mongering”, stating: “This rolls around every decade or so. They pick a show or a film and talk about the horrendous dangers of it.”

When it was claimed parents are watching the show with their young children, Billingham said “Well, is that a question of how terribly violent this show is or how irresponsible some parents are?”

Twitter user @pollymackenzie suggested that schools’ decision to alert students to Squid Game is inadvertently making them want to watch the show:

“Our primary school sent a letter to parents telling us not to let kids watch Squid Game,” she wrote. And held an all school assembly telling the kids not to watch Squid Game. Result? Children who really want to watch Squid Game.”

The series is not the first show to become the source of warnings from schools.

In 2017, 13 Reasons Why received a similar backlash following criticism from mental health organisations over its depiction of suicide.

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