Netflix’s new series Squid Game has quickly become one of the streaming service’s most popular shows ever, and that has had a hilarious unintentional consequence. In Squid Game, a salesman (Gong Yoo) who recruits people for a challenging game gives contestants an eight-digit phone number to call to join the game.
It turned out that the number is real, and people have been texting messages or calling the number to see if someone would answer. Due to the inundation of phone calls, pranks, and texts, Netflix has decided to edit out the number.
The person who owns the number in real life is a man in his 40s who told Korean media he has received about 4,000 calls a day since the series was released. He thought they were spam calls since he didn’t figure out his number was being seen by Netflix subscribers around the world until he finally watched the show himself.
“After Squid Game aired, I have been receiving calls and texts endlessly, 24/7, to the point that it’s hard for me to go on with daily life,” the man told Koreaboo in an interview. “This is a number that I’ve been using for more than 10 years, so I’m quite taken aback.
There are more than 4,000 numbers that I’ve had to delete from my phone and it’s to the point where due to people reaching out without a sense of day and night due to their curiosity, my phone’s battery is drained and turns off.”
The man said he can’t change the number now because he uses it for his business. He has received calls at all times of the day, so he started taking sleeping pills.
Since Squid Game was released last month, the show has been a surprise international hit for Netflix. The show tells the story of a group of people invited to play children’s games for a chance to win a life-changing prize, but the players also have to put their lives on the line. The show was written, created, and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk and runs nine episodes. It was produced by Siren Pictures, Inc.