Netflix may have stumbled across its biggest hit yet with the smashing international success of its deadly Korean thriller Squid Game, which has maintained its spot atop the streaming service's daily lists of its most-watched shows. But while the mega-hype and presumably massive viewership are good news for Netflix and the show's creative team, it's something of a nightmare situation for a Gyeonggi Province resident who happens to have the very same phone number that is featured prominently within Squid Game's plotline.
The phone number in question pops up on Squid Game on the business cards that Gong Yoo's mysterious recruiter hands out to people desperate enough to try and join the titular life-risking challenge in the hopes of earning a monumental payday. As it usually goes, when audiences see a phone number within a TV show or movie that doesn't involve a "555" exchange code, they tend to call it on the off chance that it'll actually be connected to the plot. In this case, however, the number belongs to a man who — surprise, surprise — is not impressed with having his entire life turned upside-down due to thousands of daily calls.
The man currently dealing with all this, who is reportedly in his 40s, claims that around 4,000 calls a day were coming in, on top of loads of text messages sent. What's more, the calls didn't just happen during normal waking hours, but all across the day and into the middle of the night. Initially, he thought it was tied to some kind of prank or spammy scam, with people saying they wanted to be "in the game," but he later learned from one of the people calling that the number was part of Netflix's Squid Game.
One of the issues here is that the man has used that phone number for a decade or so, according to the South China Morning Post, and it's also connected to his business, so changing it isn't much of an option for him. As well, his wife is apparently also getting calls from less careful dialers, as her number is the same save for the final digit.
Negotiations are reportedly taking place in order to find a way to resolve the issue, though one semi-fringe political candidate made an offer to buy the number from the man. The National Revolutionary Party’s Huh Kyung-young posted on social media that he would be willing to pay 100 million won for the number, which equals out to around $85,000 in U.S. dollars.
While this all sounds like a hellacious affair for anyone to live through, what's strange is that no one caught the issue during the production phase. In fact, the site OSEN reported that someone from Squid Game has claimed that the phone number used in the show was vetted ahead of time, and it was deemed permissible to use, though the man dealing with all the calls would likely have an opposite opinion about it.
Anybody else reminded of the family living in the Breaking Bad house that has to deal with people throwing pizzas on their roof? In any case, be sure to check out the first season of Squid Game streaming on Netflix, and keep track of all the other big shows on the way with our 2021 Fall TV schedule.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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