Many scratched their heads when it was first announced that Netflix didn’t learn the core lesson from their hit series Squid Game. A series about having people play childish games for survival to win money shared a deep look into how far the disparity between the rich and poor can push individuals. Yet, somehow Netflix thought it was a good idea to create an actual reality TV show adapting the concept for those willing to win big.
Of course, there’s the popularity of the original series and a chance to win money that’ll get people interested in giving it the chance. The same seems to be the case for John, a British contestant, who was among the 228 contestants that got kicked from Squid Game: The Challenge during its first game Red Light Green Light. In an exposé from The Sun, a British tabloid, it was described as “Squid Game Horror in UK.” It seems contestants were left in an airplane hanger freezing and were forced to hold poses for up to 30 minutes. Some describe it as a “warzone” due to the freezing temperatures.
Though, Netflix has swiftly called out that they cared “deeply” for the health and safety of everyone involved. They also highlight that “participants were prepared for” the freezing weather. Though some speaking directly with Variety highlighted this wasn’t, in fact, the case. Keep in mind, no one is being paid to participate and supposedly the game would take around two hours to play. Yet, it ended up taking around seven hours at zero degrees Celsius while filming in Bedford.
It seems many collapsed as it wasn’t only the time they spent during the game but also an 8-hour prep time. John, whose true name remains anonymous, stated that: “This is not a Bear Grylls survival show. If they had told us it was going to be that cold, no one would have gone through with it.” Though another player from the UK highlighted that it wasn’t “as extreme as people are saying,” but it’s also not “as minimal as is being conveyed by Netflix.”
The player highlights that “the conditions were absolutely inhumane and had nothing to do with the game” comparing it to Survivor or Naked and Afraid. It seems that they were woken up at 3.30 AM and brought to a Royal Air Force hanger. They did indeed wear the same Squid Game track suits but they weren’t made for the weather. They were informed to take their jackets with them due to the weather and were given warmers, as well as thermal underwear and socks.
The issue however was that they did not have access to their phones, so they could not tell just how much time truly elapsed. It just becomes a waiting game in the cold with a few heaters keeping you warm if you’re close enough. once the games started, they couldn’t wear their jackets anymore to keep the visual from the original alive and everyone had to showcase their number. It seems fake blood was involved from devices on their chest. It seems the longest wait during the game from the iconic doll lasted up to 26 minutes, which supposedly was done to “assess the gameplay.”
They also weren’t allowed to use the bathroom or take water breaks during the elongated production timeline. So, everyone involved was freezing, thirsty, and just hoping that it would finally end. Sources from Variety seem to indicate medics were called in up to eleven times and that breaks weren’t allowed. They wouldn’t return between 7 PM to midnight to their rooms without having had dinner. Production ordered pizza but there wasn’t enough and some went to bed hungry.
Squid Game: The Challenge is seemingly facing quite the issues behind-the-scenes though there’s an implication they aren’t understaffed even with someone claiming they were. Studio Lambert isn’t new to reality series and it’s unclear where it truly went wrong. The Garden is also involved and managing 456 contestants was simply too much of a tall order for everyone involved even if 228 left after the first game. It’s definitely on them for filming this in the conditions they are in and in a time where the weather simply isn’t conducive to anyone’s health for longer stretches of time. We’ll have to see if this series will even see the light of day at this rate.
Source: The Sun via Variety